The Fallible Ideas (FI) community has been under attack for over a year by an online harasser, stalker, spammer, doxer, IRL-threatener, financial fraudster and liar named “Andy B”. He’s used over a dozen identities including some multi-month projects where his false names pretended to be learning about FI. He’s posted over 400 comments on this blog from over 60 different IP addresses. His fake identities often talk and agree with each other. Some are openly nasty while others hide it for a while to trick people. He has initiated force against four separate people connected with FI. Evidence is later in this post.
Harassers and trolls usually stop much sooner and are best ignored, which is why I’ve been silent until now.
What can drive a person, day after day, to spend his life trying to hurt others? One of the answers is ongoing encouragement from friends and allies. For example, consider an animal rights group where people encourage each other to hate scientists who experiment on animals, fur coat wearers and farmers. Most people will stop at rhetoric, meetup sessions where they complain and share their debating points, etc. But some people will be willing to “get their hands dirty” by committing petty crimes at night or by harassing opposing intellectuals online. When they attend the meetings by day, they are encouraged to feel like they’re standing up for a righteous cause, and it drives their persistent, secret use of force.
Many criminals are alone and isolated. Basically, they know that everyone disapproves of what they do and keep it secret. But when people have a social group which is encouraging them and agreeing with them about the rightness of their cause, it inspires them to more crime. This is a reason some criminals are part of gangs.
Andy B has received ongoing support and encouragement from the FI shadow community (which doesn’t really have a name other than the more recent Four Strands group). Andy is a member of Four Strands both as Andy and TheRat, and he connects with many of them on social networks like Twitter.
I’m writing this post because some of the facts – the ways other people helped and encouraged Andy, and refused to stop supporting him or actually made statements against crime or harassment – are so unbelievable that they must be clearly documented to be believed. The toxic culture and hateful leadership are shocking and they’re utterly unwilling to attempt any sort of problem solving in private. That leaves me no choice but to publicly document everything so that I can link it to people to explain what’s going on. The most I can do, when they will fix nothing, is criticize their actions and explain my case. They won’t leave me alone or stop trying to harm me, but at least I can tell my story so some people will know the truth.
The shadow community is a group of people interested in FI topics like DD, FoR, BoI, TCS and CR but who don’t participate at FI and hold a grudge about some past criticism. Recently, this shadow community has more organization and leadership with a “Four Strands” group. The leaders include Dennis Hackethal (a software engineer from Cupertino, CA, blog, contact at [email protected]), Bruce Nielson (a computer science student at Georgia Tech, blog, contact at [email protected]), Aaron Stupple (from Springfield, MA) and Allie Pace. (The occupations and locations are from their public Twitter accounts. I’ve left out private info about them that I have.) They’ve put effort into hiding who is a leader of the group, but I have a bunch of sources and I believe this is accurate. The group doesn’t publicly post any rules, policies or description, or say who is actually in charge, which helps them try to dodge responsibility for their involvement in crime. Bruce has also pretended not to be an owner.
Bruce, Aaron and Allie are owners of the Four Strands Google Group, and Dennis is a manager there. The Four Strands shadow community also includes the Beginning of Infinity subreddit, co-moderated by Andy and Dennis, and Dennis’ Crit App forum. Four Strands also has a Slack and Discord.
Dennis and Bruce were notified that their group member, Andy, was a criminal, and that he had joined the Four Strands group under multiple identities. They did not respond. When asked again, Bruce did not respond and Dennis responded with a malicious trick (the emails are later in this post).
It seems that the only way to get a response from this gang of aggressive rights violators is to bring up ways they are personally breaking the law. For example, Dennis did respond when I pointed out to him that it’s against the law to intentionally falsely accuse people of crimes in order to damage their reputation, as he had done. He issued a minimal retraction, refused to apologize, and did not attempt to undo the harm he’d done or set anything right. More on this below.
Similarly, Dennis responded to a complaint that he was violating the Fallible Ideas trademark in a minimal way that didn’t even involve notifying me when he renamed his “Fallible Fun” forum or what the new name was. He was so uncooperative that he wouldn’t even say that “Fallible Fun” was his forum; I had to find out elsewhere. One of Dennis’ Four Strands associates, Logan Chipkin, also violated my trademark with a “Fallible Animals” podcast and has yet to resolve the matter.
When group leaders initiate rights violations under their real names, it encourages and legitimizes Andy’s fly-by-night rights violations. They are telling him with not merely words but also actions that I and others deserve to be aggressed against, and that Andy is fighting the good fight. This makes them partially responsible for the aggressive uses of force that they use their leadership roles to encourage others to commit.
Decent people who accidentally get caught up in crime would attempt to mitigate the harm and distance themselves from it. Dennis, Bruce and the rest have refused to denounce crime, refused to ban Andy, refused to give me access to records that I could review for other rights violations, refused to disassociate with Andy, refused to ask people to stop harassing me, and refused to discourage the hatred they’ve been working to create and which has led to many initiations of force.
Atmosphere of Hatred
What does their group do to create an atmosphere that’s a breeding ground for violating rights? Dennis explained the group atmosphere like this:
I feel the pressure of agreeing with everyone about how much we all dislike Elliot
Dennis also encouraged hatred by posting:
I am now a proud entry on [FI’s] public list of apostates. :)
There is no list of apostates, merely a list of some people who chose to engage significantly in a public debate with FI and then stopped responding without explaining or finishing. Here, Dennis expresses pride, and smiles, about being in conflict with other people, which further promotes hatred and fighting.
Bruce helped lead the the way in establishing hostile gossip as part of his community when he posted:
[ET] has a bit of a history creating bad feelings in forums he doesn't own and causing people to leave. (Or so I am told. I don't have a personal history here.)
Bruce knowingly and intentionally spread rumors that people had gossiped to him. Bruce’s message also suggests that one should believe second-hand gossip without knowing any details, at least if it smears ET. The Four Strands community is full of gossip and shadowy rumors (just like it was before they made the Four Strands group and intentionally recruited a bunch of gossipers and haters for members), rather than being full of accountability, responsibility and civilized values. This is by the design of its leaders. This makes it easier for people to cross lines.
Similarly, Brett Hall (website) is a longtime FI shadow community member, who the Four Strands leadership promoted as a valuable addition to their community. Brett teaches Theory of Knowledge, a mandatory course in the IB diploma program, with a 20% failure rate (failure means no diploma), which requires 100 hours of instruction. According to Brett, what he teaches is “philosophy-lite with lots of lefty relativism and other nonsense“. 100 hours of instruction in mandatory “nonsense” with high pressure and high stakes! Why would Brett be involved with that sort of anti-TCS mistreatment of students? “I teach it because I like it.” (Source: the Fallible Ideas discussion archive.) Contact at [email protected]
Brett said that ET is poison and that ET destroys valuable things (thus helping justifying destructive actions targeted at ET), for example:
FWIW any project that one does decide to undertake will be less likely derailed or poisoned were Curi not involved. Indeed some of us will actively avoid any project Curi is involved with. :)
Poisoning is a violent and often murderous action. Brett repeatedly uses language like that which suggests that something nasty should be done about ET. E.g.:
Does anyone want to go onto FI and save some of those poor souls? Some seem to want actual personal help but are being asked for money by ET. I think that’s beyond the pale. FWIW I’m directing all enquires about the CR community here and to slack and the 4 strands group.
The part about being asked for money is a lie which Brett heard gossip about and decided to spread without fact-checking first. I have documentation of the source and spread of this particular rumor, so I know that Brett changed and exaggerated it when passing it on instead of error-correcting it.
By saying that ET’s actions are “beyond the pale”, Brett encouraged people to take extreme action against ET in order to “save … poor souls” who are ET’s alleged victims.
Brett further accused ET of “coercion”, which both means ET is hurting people (justifying hurting him) and also is intended to smear ET as a violator of TCS principles (and therefore someone who is destroying the great value of TCS by attempting to lead it while contradicting its actual ideas and values). Brett went on to accuse ET of “ruin[ing]” valuable communities and doing “destructions” and “exterminat[ion]”. Would you harass a destructive, ruinous exterminator of valuable ideas about rationality, and feel like you were righteously standing up for good values and justice? Maybe not but some people like Andy would, which is one of the foreseeable consequences of Brett’s hateful comments.
What do the Four Strands leaders do about this sort of incivility from Brett? They praise him as a great thinker and content creator.
Libel and Defamation
The worst that I’ve seen (but I haven’t seen many of their postings, let alone their secret gossip) was when Dennis Hackethal, a group manager and community leader, falsely accused ET of threatening Dennis with violence. There was no factual basis for this dishonest, malicious claim which was given for the stated reason of discouraging people from discussing philosophical ideas with ET. The quote is:
[ET has] insinuated violence towards me in the past.
Dennis, by lying that ET had committed a serious crime (as threatening Dennis with violence would have been), tried to destroy ET’s reputation so that people would stay away from ET, and also his comments encouraged people to violate ET’s rights since a criminal deserves it.
That’s libel and defamation. (Read about them at the link. I am not a lawyer, but I did speak with a lawyer about this.)
When ET later found out about this, Dennis partially admitted his guilt: he didn’t pretend that “insinuated violence” didn’t refer to a threat. Dennis issued a brief retraction because he knew there was no factual basis for his lie, but Dennis did not attempt to undo the harm, apologize, tell people to stop harassing ET, say that he regretted encouraging crime, say that ET was in fact a decent, civilized person and law-abiding person, or anything like that. Dennis’ actions are bad enough to open him up to a lawsuit for libel and defamation, but he refused to even apologize.
Passively letting group members cross lines encourages more people to do it. When group leaders themselves cross those lines, the effect is much worse.
Dennis makes a podcast and postures as someone who is doing important work to develop AGI, promote David Deutsch’s great ideas, and otherwise change or save the world. Dennis is connecting that reputation – as an intellectual and philosopher – with hatred of ET and with it being OK to break laws and lie in order to hurt ET. Dennis is teaching others, not merely with words but with actions, that using aggressive force is good when it’s in favor of a valuable intellectual cause.
Andy is Dennis’ star student. Dennis, by the way, is the only other moderator at Andy’s Beginning of Infinity subreddit which purports to promote David Deutsch’s book and ideas, and Dennis has continued that public association.
Dennis provided the paper-thin excuse that I had once mentioned “destroy[ing]” Dennis socially, and spoke of not wanting to do it and not doing it. (I mentioned it because I said certain bad, immoral social rules encourage it.) Dennis said the word “destroy” is a strong word which, at the time, made him feel unsafe and fear physical violence. That’s a serious issue, but Dennis’ response was unserious: he waited six months then gossiped about it to try to hurt me. He could have asked for a second opinion (and been told by anyone that it’s not a threat), told the police (and been laughed at), asked me or anyone else from FI (he believed my clarification that it wasn’t a threat in on Jan 23, so why not ask for clarification at the time?), or looked the matter up online. For example, if you Google search “Trump destroys Hillary” you will find the term “destroy” is used routinely in ways having nothing to do with threats or violence, e.g. debate victories. On this basis, Dennis broke the law trying to destroy my reputation. My explanation is that he doesn’t really notice when his actions cross lines like what the law is or violating someone’s rights. Sure he’d notice that some actions cross a line, like murder, but he’s not very consistent about it (which makes him dangerous).
Dennis’ retraction from Jan 23 reads:
Elliot has contacted me about this and asked me to retract this statement. He has since clarified what he meant at the time and my comment above was based on a misunderstanding. He was not insinuating violence. I will delete the above comment in the Google group.
This statement suggests that Dennis did nothing wrong, and it was just an innocent and reasonable misunderstanding, which is false. It also does nothing to try to address the harassment by Andy which Dennis’ libel, and other his actions, encouraged.
Here are some of the replies to the retraction which will give you a further understanding of what the group’s hateful atmosphere is like, and which Dennis didn’t discourage. Brett Hall, on Jan 23, replied about:
[ET’s] dishonesty and cruelty and inability to just leave us alone
please: just stay away. Yet [ET’s] still tagging me in Tweets regularly (I’ve muted him but often others respond so I see those responses). It’s tiresome.
That’s a factually false attack on my reputation. It’s first of all misleading because it sounds like I had added Brett to a topic on Twitter or started a new topic and included him, which I didn’t do. Rather, I shared one relevant blog post to a conversation he was already in, and then I responded to a few people who responded to me (which automatically sent my tweet to everyone in the conversation). Responding to people who tweet to me is not regularly tagging Brett. The conversation lasted two days. Brett’s problem is with Twitter’s conversation and notification system (which I grant is poorly designed), but he’s falsely and misleading suggesting that I did something wrong. The reason Brett got notifications is because other people, who are not me (and were mostly hostile to me because of the rumors people like Brett have spread) tagged him in their tweets, because that’s how Twitter works by default, but somehow he blames me.
Although upset to be notified about my blog post by the Twitter conversation, Brett was apparently interested enough to read it and flame me for it:
And now the attacks on Bruce and Dennis and yet more evidence of his utter obsession with people over ideas: the WHO rather than what, and the questioning of personal motives and psychology and so on. He cannot stand not having control of a place beginning to thrive. The number of times he uses the word “I” in that new flame post is telling. He’s saying everyone on “Alan’s list” is not rational.
So the context is that Dennis libeled and defamed me, and retracted it. Brett apparently thought to himself something like, “ET’s rights were violated. This would be a great time to smear him with flames and falsehoods!” He wasn’t the only one. Aaron Stupple, a Four Strands owner, replied:
Completely agree. It seems best to completely ignore as he has a tendency to use any argument as a means to try to manipulate and slander. And there's just no place for that here and we should do our best to keep things open and enjoyable.
Aaron, as a group owner and leader, completely agreed with uncivil flames as a comment on ET’s rights being violated, and piled on with additional flaming. He’s leading the group in inciting hatred and harassment.
Andy himself replied too, as well as Felix (who is Andy’s ally or false identity). I won’t go into the further nasty comments, which got much worse, except to say that Brett responded positively to Andy saying that Andy’s comment “puts [ET] further beyond the pale. Thanks for highlighting this.” Saying I’m “beyond the pale” means that I’ve crossed a major boundary into completely unacceptable behavior outside the standards of decency and civilization. (Seriously, look it up, it’s a very strong term. Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.) This is the kind of idea which inspires Andy to continue attacking me. Brett is egging Andy on.
The Four Strands group is so toxic that they think retracting a libel is a good time and context to pile on and flame the victim. And Dennis’ retraction was clearly in bad faith or he would have objected to this if not blocked/deleted the posts (he’s a group manager).
I have been told second-hand that some Four Strand people want us to leave each other alone, and we see that in Brett’s message too. But they don’t leave me alone. They don’t seem to even know how to leave someone alone. Their idea of us leaving each other alone seems to involve me being disallowed from complaining about their criminal member harassing me, while they spread libel, defamation and hatred which no one objects to, with no regard for the law or my rights. You have to learn to recognize what is and isn’t a rights violation before you can understand how to leave someone alone or how to accurately judge whether someone is leaving you alone or not.
Refusal To Help
Dennis, Bruce or their associates very likely have information about Andy’s identity or ways to pressure him to stop committing crimes. They have refused to say whether they have any information, try to get information, or otherwise participate in a process of protecting persons and rights. They continue to imply, by refusing to lift a finger against crime, that they endorse crime. This is the sort of social approval which encourages Andy to keep spending his life being an online harasser.
Another involved shadow community member is Lulie Tanett, who is a direct associate of David Deutsch. Lulie has a past history of knowingly and intentionally associating with doxers, spam bot users, open anti-semites and a variety of nasty people online, and has confessed to violating people’s privacy with her gossip. Lulie has been an ongoing source of pseudo-intellectual arguments allegedly justifying the hatred and vilification of FI and ET. Lulie has refused to denounce crime, distance herself from Andy’s actions, say whether she has any relevant info about Andy, or use her FI-hating contacts to get info about Andy – even though she and her family all follow Andy on Twitter and have plenty of contacts throughout the shadow community. She ought to be thankful to have been informed she was associating with a dangerous criminal, so she could stop, but her attitude to the matter has been uncivilized.
The shadow community has created such a bad atmosphere that Andy can go on Twitter as Andy or a sock puppet, and lie and smear me, and the community responds by mocking me and disbelieving me when I state facts. This group of people who publicly accept and praise a criminal over his victim is the source of the evil. After being informed about the ongoing crime, Lulie personally participated in that crime-favoring public mocking, as did some of her family members.
Since the problem is coming from David Deutsch’s fans, and is dangerous to his civilized fans, David should say and do something. But he has failed in this duty, preferring (I guess) to pretend that it’s not his problem when the owner of the subreddit for his book is a criminal. Why warn his fans? Instead he occasionally promotes content from people who are directly involved like Dennis and Lulie.
PS Please do not harass anyone or commit any crimes. That’s not a way to defend me or fix anything.
Emails to Leaders
On Jan 22, 2020, I emailed Dennis and Bruce. I would have contacted them sooner if they hadn’t already refused to respond to other communications such as asking whether or not I could join the Four Strands group, and if they hadn’t already refused to do anything when someone else reported a threat and spam to them (this is explained later). I had little hope of a productive response and, in retrospect, I was right.
You should be aware that Andy B (bconecat, kodheaven, heuristicworld) has many false identities, has spammed two people, doxed two, threatened one, posted literally hundreds of harassing messages, and harassed the FI discord on at least 8 accounts. He’s unstable and vindictive against people who annoy him. He’s targeted at least four people so far. I wanted to warn you because you appear to be associating with him in several ways and he’s outside the realm of civilized, peaceful people.
TheRat is a pseudonym of Andy B. This is not speculation, it’s based on technical info like server logs.
He’s been posting a series of troll comments on my blog right now, as I send this, which I’ve been deleting. He’s breaking laws.
I assume your association with him is out of ignorance. Initially, he pretended to be friendly and curious with me, too. I thought you should know.
On Jan 31, after no response, I emailed again:
Since you have taken no action in regards to your ongoing association with an active criminal, and you are running a group which incites hatred and encourages harassment, I’m asking you to respond in a reasonable, civilized way so that we can attempt to fix this major problem. If you don’t respond, I will have to make unilateral decisions about how to defend myself, and I will have to regard you as knowingly and intentionally siding with aggressive force. I would prefer to talk about it and attempt problem solving but so far you haven’t responded so I don’t know how to problem solve with you, but this problem is hurting me so I’m going to have to do something whether you guys will respond or not.
If you wanted a “soft” group with less criticism, and more moderation of tone, and more focus on AGI but no politics – for example (I’m just sorta guessing at the ballpark of what you might want) – that would be a legitimate purpose for a group. You could advertise that on FI, you could stop spreading hatred, people on your group could link to FI materials without that being taboo or something that gets them attacked, people on FI could link to your stuff (instead of you guys hiding CR content from us), we could co-exist. You could have written rules and I could follow them if I want to post on your forum. There are many things that would be reasonable, but you haven’t explained what you’re doing and have contributed to an atmosphere of hatred and rival, enemy factions (some of which predates your group, but you recruited many of the haters and said hateful things yourselves), which is unreasonable and harmful to DD’s legacy. Instead of being a hub of nasty gossip, you could be e.g. an intellectual group with different social rules where people like Andy are unwelcome and it’s made clear to everyone that such actions are unacceptable.
Dennis responded on Feb 3:
Please stop emailing me. I am not one of the group's owners, so this is beyond my control.
This was a malicious trick. Rather than do something anti-crime or anti-hatred, Dennis tried to fool the victim. I never said Dennis was an owner. He is, contrary to what he implied, a manager. And he does have some control over this matter (no one person has total control, but he’s one of the people involved in the decision making). He’s also co-moderator of a subreddit with Andy, which he seems to have conveniently and dishonestly forgotten (rather than e.g. being apologetic and helpful after violating my rights with the libel or due to sympathy with a crime victim).
Jan 18, 2020, I emailed Lulie about Andy. I emailed David Deutsch on Jan 21. I emailed them both again on Feb 1. I have a personal history with both Lulie and David, which I referred to, so I won’t quote those emails. I shared info similar to what I told Dennis and Bruce. There was no response.
On Feb 3, I also received a response from an unknown person, “Doctor Philosophy” ( [email protected] ). Apparently Bruce or Dennis forwarded my emails to them. They said:
Thanks for bringing this problem to our attention. You have sent Four Stands two emails now (below). Your first email warned us of a possible problem so that we could look into it but didn’t ask for any response. We did start to investigate your claim. Before we completed the investigation, you sent a second email that seemed to indicate you were expecting some sort of response within a previously unspecified time frame – though what you were expecting is not made clear.
Your second email makes it clearer that you feel there is some sort of criminal activity going on. If that is true, that would be concerning. We are not qualified to investigate possible criminal activity. So we ask that you please call the police or other authorities right away. When they have reviewed the evidence, if they think that this is worth investigating, they may wish to contact us. We don’t think we have much that can help as this is just an internet group and few of us know each other. People who join the group may express their own opinions and those opinions don't reflect the views of the entire group. But we want to help the police, should they open an investigation, as much as possible.
To summarize: they had no idea that doxing, spamming, threatening, etc., were crimes, so they began investigating – but in secret without notifying me in any way. Their investigation did not discover any laws against those actions, and they expected me to believe, 13 days later, that the investigation was ongoing and that I should wait more for an update. They also said nothing for 2.5 days after my followup email then told me to call the police “right away” as if they knew the matter was urgent. And now that they realize Andy’s actions are seriously bad, they will do nothing.
This is thoroughly dishonest. For one thing, they began investigating 18 days ago, before my email, when the threatened person spoke with Bruce. And from what I’ve been told, the investigation consisted basically of asking Andy if he was guilty and believing him when he said no, as well as finding it implausible that Andy and Rat were the person despite IP evidence they were given, and despite the much more evidence that was available but which they didn’t want (like the table below).
The claim that I sent Four Strands two emails is both false and misleading. It’s false because I sent a third email to Four Strands (Dennis) a few days earlier on Jan 19:
Did you make this or could you tell me who did? I saw you tweeting it. https://www.fallible.fun
And may I join the Four Strands groups?
And it’s misleading because I had also contacted Four Strands by means other than email, e.g. I DMed Bruce on Twitter, on Jan 19, asking if I could join the Four Strands group (he did not reply).
Doctor Philosophy made no attempt to identify themselves or state their connection to Four Strands, so I replied (Feb 3):
You have not identified yourself or explained how you got a copy of my email message below. Who are you and what is your relationship to the Four Strands group? Who do you speak for and who do you not speak for? Are you speaking for Dennis, or not? For Bruce, or not? Aaron? Allie? Anyone else? Please provide some sort of proof that you represent whoever you claim to represent.
What steps did you take to investigate and what were the results so far? At this time, do you intend to take no further action?
What are the proper ways for the authorities to contact the Four Strands group? Names, phone numbers, emails, etc?
They did not reply.
Evidence Against Andy B
I thought carefully about what evidence to provide because the more I share about my knowledge, methods and security, the more it helps Andy learn how to beat my defenses. I’ve decided to prioritize proving my case, which is better for dealing with everyone other than Andy. The data dump at the end clearly shows two of Andy’s alternate identities, TheRat and Augustine, as well as a lengthy record of harassment. I have detailed evidence for everything else too and could provide additional info if there is a request with a reason it’s needed. I’ve provided a lot preemptively below.
Andy was friendly initially and learned about FI for a while before becoming hostile because I support Trump building a wall. He then apologized for getting so mad and soon got mad again because I criticized the moderation policies on the IDW subreddit where he was a moderator. He ragequit and start posting harassing comments (as well as apparently-civil comments and questions designed to waste people’s time). TheRat and the Augustine identities started out pretending to be friendly people learning FI and both created fake backstories and he ran both long cons, at the same time, for months. Andy often tries to draw people into discussion. He’s interested in FI ideas but has conflicted feelings about them. However, while learning on one identity (and even voice chatting) he would post ongoing troll comments anonymously.
Andy keeps making new identities or posting anonymously. If he gets attention, he uses that identity more. If not, he just tries something else. Some of them are openly hostile, harassing or trolling, while others are partially civil while trying to sneak in a few attacks, and others are entirely civil when Andy really wants attention. Andy also frequently talks with himself to make it sound like more people agree with him and to trick people into thinking his identities are separate people. He also will debate someone on one identity and when he doesn’t win the debate, he tries again on another identity. The identities that talk with each other the most are Andy and TheCritRat, particularly on Discord, Twitter and Reddit. In Curiosity blog comments, Andy often anonymously agreed with himself to create a fake crowd, rather than using a longer term identity.
The thing that most often makes Andy mad is his own insecurity about whether he can be a good philosopher like ET or David Deutsch. As TheRat, he rage quit over his concern that he was too irrational. He returned later and confessed that was why he left. He explained that he’d talked to a lot of people and found they were even more irrational in arguments than he was. He’s often desparate for ET’s attention and keeps trying different ways to try to ask questions and get ET to respond to him. He partially hates ET for ways ET is different than him that seem inaccessible to him, e.g. Andy can’t see himself supporting Trump building a wall, so it upsets him that ET supports that. TheRat rage quit a second time after ET said he was able to play chess calmly, without getting upset about losing, at age 4 or 5. TheRat exaggerated that heavily and got really angry because he thought that meant he could never be rational like ET. He’s also brought up these motivations repeatedly elsewhere. Andy’s psychology helps explain why the support, legitimization, approval and sanction of an alternative community of superficially-similar philosophers (also David Deutsch fans, who was ET’s mentor) matters so much for his behavior. It gives him a way to hate ET, feel good about it, and think he has an alternative way to be a good philosopher.
Andy has had four total victims. I haven’t named the other three, two of whom were doxed and one was threatened and spammed. Below I present information about identities and misdeeds.
Andy B, openly:
Discord: Andy B#6964
Creator, moderator: https://www.reddit.com/r/BeginningofInfinity/ (other mod: dchacke which is Dennis Hackethal)
Creator, moderator: https://www.reddit.com/r/HeuristicWorld/
Moderator: https://www.reddit.com/r/TheIDW/ (other mod: OursIsTheRepost)
Former moderator: https://www.reddit.com/r/IntellectualDarkWeb/
Andy B, covertly, known from computer security data:
Andy B or someone working with him:
Discord: I KanT even#5632
Discord: Felix The Cat#3929
People have asked me about Anon99, who posted hostile blog comments then created a new, anonymous Twitter account and blog on Feb 1, 2020, for the specific purpose of harming my reputation in just the same sort of ways that Andy tries to. He jumped right into old Twitter discussions that Andy had posted in, and expressed knowledge of FI, CR, Objectivism and IDW (just like Andy knows about, and which is quite a rare combination outside of FI). There was no real pretense that he wasn’t a sock puppet. He shows many indications of being Andy, who has a history of making new identities and lying, but I don’t have a direct proof like I do with TheRat or Augustine. The reason I lack the same direct proof is because I’m now blocking everything with a direct connection to Andy’s past comments, so he’s had to hide his identity better in order to continue his harassment. A downside of active security is that people learn, by trial and error, what gets them caught. Besides a VPN, Anon99’s comments use other, uncommon identity-faking tools, and show common Andy patterns like writing malicious comments from different names in the middle of his conversation. Besides the use of unusual identity-hiding tools and circumstantial evidence, there are several other pieces of evidence regarding Anon99, but I don’t want to give away all my security info. Also there’s zero evidence that Anon99 is not Andy.
Note: Andy often deletes identities when he doesn’t plan to use them anymore. This makes it harder to track him or search for info. For example, TheRat rage quit for a while and then came back, at which point he had to recreate his accounts with the same name, and the Augustine discord account has been deleted.
Might be Andy:
These two are speculation based on content, style and behavior. They could easily be wrong.
Recordings of Andy's voice (as TheRat):
Mailing list subscription confirmation notice for mailing list
We have received a request from 126.96.36.199 for subscription of your
email address, “[email protected]", to the
[email protected] mailing list. To confirm that you want
to be added to this mailing list, simply reply to this message,
keeping the Subject: header intact. Or visit this web page:
Andy spammed an FI person by signing them for 25 email lists which caused them to receive emails like this. This spam was done from Andy’s primary IP address on Jan 5, 2020. Andy also spammed me with 18 email list signups from 188.8.131.52 on Jan 9 (in the table below, you can see Andy using that IP address on Jan 10).
In January, Andy doxed two people (not me) in Curiosity blog comments. I deleted the doxing and I won’t name the individuals or say what personal information was shared. It’s confirmed from server data that he did it. Andy is likely also the culprit who tried to reset someone’s Netflix password around the same time that he doxed that person.
Dec 30, 2019, after posing as a young person for months (the Augustine identity), and telling lies about his cruel parents to gain sympathy, Andy fraudulently tricked me into gifting him $400 worth of my digital educational products. (I’m a kind and generous person, sometimes perhaps too much.) Defrauding people for hundreds of dollars of financial gain crosses a major criminal line.
On Jan 5, 2020, Andy (as TheRat, on Discord) baselessly accused an FI person (not me) of being “sociopathic” and abusing a child’s trust. Andy verbally abused this person with profanity-laced insults and made threatening statements:
when you hurt children in the process you’ve crossed a line.
I am sure there’s ways to make your life difficult, particularly in [name of country]
This was followed by additional flaming along with comments indicating the threat was serious, such as:
you think I am joking around here or something? Fix it. I won’t ask again.
you have 24 hours to [obey my demands] […] Fix it. That simple.
There was no factual basis for Andy’s claims. The supposed child in question was Andy himself under the fake Augustine identity, and nothing really happened to him. I’ll tell the story so that you can see how little happened. Let’s call the threatened person Joe. Augustine sent Joe a link by direct message. Joe read it. Later, Augustine sent the same link to a public chat. Joe said roughly (the exact message was deleted to try to accommodate Augustine’s demands), “Oh I read that when you sent it to me Aug, here are my thoughts […]”. That’s it.
The threatened person is on the Four Strands group in addition to FI and told Bruce Nielson about the threat because both Andy and his TheRat identity were in Four Strands. Bruce, as a group manager (though I actually have some evidence that he’s an owner who pretends to be a manager), did nothing about it and let them both stay; apparently the Four Strands group is intentionally choosing an atmosphere where threats like this are acceptable. Bruce also did nothing about the threatened person being spammed from Andy’s IP address.
This verbal abuse was done allegedly to self-righteously stand up for TCS values, and the threatened person was insulted with profanity for allegedly not doing TCS correctly.
Andy Blog Comments Data
Andy’s primary IP address is 184.108.40.206, which appears to be in Texas. He posted around 100 friendly comments from that IP address before he became hostile in Sept 2018. Below are all comments from that IP address and all comments which visitor-match a comment from that IP address. The visitor-matching is done using standard, robust, open source security software (see the Security ID column in the table below). I won't provide the specific security software I use. The basic facts are that it’s imperfect and sometimes gives false negatives (it fails to match two comments as being from the same person), but false positives (where it incorrectly says two people are the same) are very rare and I haven’t found any false positives in extensive review. FYI I’m a professional software developer and have reviewed the security data with another developer. This simplified, limited data set is 316 comments from the over 400 that I know were Andy. If you click a comment link and it doesn’t highlight a comment, that means it’s hidden. Andy did continue posting harassing comments during the time gap in this data set from Oct 2018 through Sept 2019, but not as frequently and he consistently remembered to use a VPN during that time before slipping up and posting from his primary IP address again in late 2019.
|14240||2019.11.08||The Lil lion Augustine||220.127.116.11||4f87d14258e955a9e970ccc7f1f2c402|
|14253||2019.11.09||Likes proper commas||18.104.22.168||c4b0c9e4a71adbbb956ecf49bc9e1ed9|
|14320||2019.11.14||YouTube Loves Capitalism||22.214.171.124||c4b0c9e4a71adbbb956ecf49bc9e1ed9|
|14339||2019.11.14||The best Anon||126.96.36.199||c4b0c9e4a71adbbb956ecf49bc9e1ed9|
|14549||2019.11.23||John Galt would help fight climate change||188.8.131.52||c4b0c9e4a71adbbb956ecf49bc9e1ed9|
|15033||2020.01.06||When the ego doesn't match the skill||184.108.40.206||e4396c2db04e0a072a5150796f09b3f7|
|15046||2020.01.08||Rand would be dissapointed||220.127.116.11||e4396c2db04e0a072a5150796f09b3f7|
|15056||2020.01.10||Shit Tier Blogger||18.104.22.168||e4396c2db04e0a072a5150796f09b3f7|
|15088||2020.01.14||Curi is a hypocrite||22.214.171.124||e4396c2db04e0a072a5150796f09b3f7|
|15128||2020.01.17||[name removed due to doxing]||126.96.36.199||e4396c2db04e0a072a5150796f09b3f7|
|15170||2020.01.20||Ayn Rand's Dildo||188.8.131.52||e4396c2db04e0a072a5150796f09b3f7|
|15191||2020.01.22||[name removed due to doxing]||184.108.40.206||e4396c2db04e0a072a5150796f09b3f7|
Andy B is an online criminal. Dennis Hackethal, Bruce Nielson, Aaron Stupple and Allie Pace are maliciously encouraging Andy (and anyone else) to harass me. And that group of leaders has personally spread hatred about me and violated my rights. They’re welcoming Andy as a member at their groups, providing him moral support, protecting his reputation while working to damage mine, working with him, preventing me from having access to group messages to investigate, and more. Others like Brett Hall have helped encourage the culture of hatred. David Deutsch has acted irresponsibly by saying and doing nothing. None of these people will make any anti-crime or anti-harassment statement, or even pay lip service to asking their members or fans to be peaceful. This shadow community is dangerous and should be shunned by all civilized persons.
They wouldn’t even ban Andy from their group, or disassociate from him, let alone discourage the culture of hatred they’ve created or oppose harassment in any way.
If anyone involved apologizes and takes reasonable actions to try to make amends, I will update this post.
Update: Andy deletes his reddit account
It was there last time I checked. I don't remember when that was, maybe a couple days ago.
Update: TheRat deletes his reddit account
They're covering their tracks by deleting stuff.
Rat Twitter Deleted
Update: After writing this post, I have received a response with credible information. This person says they have spoken with both Andy and Felix and they have two different voices. Using my recording, this person recognized TheRat's voice as Felix.
But the server data clearly connects Andy's IP and computer with TheRat. It looks like there are two people involved who have shared a computer and internet connection. They are friends, family, roommates or something.
They also share ideas and information (e.g. I told Augustine about an obscure book and then Andy blogged about it, and there are many other indications they have lots of the same knowledge of FI, CR, IDW, BoI, Objectivism, etc., and TheRat routinely shows up in the same reddit and twitter threads as Andy).
I have no way to know how much of the harassing was done by Andy and how much by Felix because they have shared computer equipment and an internet connection. My data can't tell them apart in that case.
I will add some kind of update to my post later.
Also here's Felix's reddit account: https://www.reddit.com/user/FelixTheFallibleCat
Andy Emails When The Harassment Begins
Here is Andy denying being the harasser back when this started in 2018:
> You posted over 100 comments from the same IP address (220.127.116.11) and troll comments from that IP address started shortly after you left Discord. If it’s not you, it’s someone you share an internet connection with and told that I was toxic.
Andy didn't reply but the harassment promptly stopped for a while, then consistently came from other IP addresses until late 2019.
Andy was lying to me when he said "Funny, I use VPN and my IP address changes." He had consistently posted from a single IP. 86 out of 94 of the comments from "Andy" prior to the harassment were from the one IP. (There were more from the same IP where he forgot to type his name, hence me saying over 100 in the quote.)
Here's TheRat trying to gaslight me on Discord yesterday:
And here's Andy, who clearly hates and flames me, accusing me of gaslighting a around three weeks ago, on the Four Strands discord:
Andy B 01/11/2020
Forgive me if I am being insensitive about it, I know some ppl still favorable to FI and in addition some ppl really got hurt by it.
Andy B 01/11/2020
Don't feel bad. Those kind of people are quite adept at manipulation.
Super easy to get, not necessarily gaslighted, but something close to it.
Andy B 01/17/2020 lol
I mean I laugh because curi failed with his indoctrination toward me but he doesn't always. He has hurt a lot of people, and continues to. I agree with TheRat on what he wrote in the other Discord. It is indeed quite sad. @TheRat Do you mind if I copy it here (assuming I can find it)?
Though mockery (at who hurt you) can be good therapy.
Andy (probably him but if he wants me to believe something is him, he should email it to me from the bconecat email) posted a comment on this post today, which I removed, which denied that he wrote a single one of the harassing comments. If he wants me to believe that, he will have to explain why he both IP-matches and Security ID matches the harasser who would, in that case, apparently be Felix/Rat/Aug/the-rest. The security ID match basically indicates sharing a computer or having an identical computer with a bunch of identical software and settings which would be quite a coincidence unless e.g. they both were using computers from the same computer lab. Andy would also have to explain why the harasser started using a VPN consistently, for a long time period, after I told Andy the IP address the harassment was coming from (Andy's own main IP). There are many signs that Andy and Felix keep in touch and share information even if, theoretically possibly but I have no real reason to believe it, only one of them actually typed in the harassing comments. E.g. maybe Andy and Felix were roommates who shared a PC sometimes, but then Andy moved out (the Andy comment claimed that he now lives in a different city than his 2018 city).
This comment self-identifies as Andy from IDW. That means either Andy is guilty or there are two of them and Felix is guilty and is impersonating Andy (or there are two of them, both are both guilty). There are six comments from "Andy" in this thread:
Andy flaming me and talking about Felix, Jan 24:
Andy has tweeted Texas related things at least 5 times.
Tweets are now protected and he blocked a lot of people.
Sept 2018, Andy B raging at me on Discord:
[6:28 PM] HeuristicWorld (Andy): I am really kind of confused at your bullying attitude towards me
[6:30 PM] HeuristicWorld (Andy): Sabotaging, I guess you expect me to be like everyone else here that takes your word for gospel
[6:30 PM] HeuristicWorld (Andy): The thing is I don't consider you superior to me and It bothers you.
[6:31 PM] HeuristicWorld (Andy): which is fine
[6:31 PM] HeuristicWorld (Andy): I've dealt with big egos before
Andy apologized by email, Sept 11, 2018, because he'd gotten triggered by immigration politics relating to Mexicans, who he said he'd worked with:
> Hello Elliot,
> I apologize for my behavior yesterday. I shouldn't have implied you were a bigot. I've been thinking of what caused me to react so strongly and I think it was fear. I was afraid that you could convince me to think that a wall is a good idea. It felt like I was betraying my friends and people I care about if I were to start agreeing with something like that. But I ended up betraying my own values of seeking truth and honest conversations. Either way, I behaved poorly and I apologize.
He rage the server five days later on Sept 15 which is what you see in #15362 That was related to a discussion about reddit moderation. Then the very next day, sept 16, is when the harassment started.
Andy rejoined the FI Discord on Jan 11, 2020, apparently in order to delete a bunch of old chat messages. Looks like he went through and deleted everything after Sept 8, 2010 (I think you have to do it one message at a time, afaik), but I have saved copies of it. Here's a sample from what he deleted from the immigration rage quit conversation:
[10-Sep-18 05:43 PM] HeuristicWorld#6964
Not really. Most immigrants from Mexico assimilate fine, they do their jobs etc... They don't commit any crimes they don't hate America. It is not like the Islam issue in Europe where they purposely don't assimilate and hate the place that is helping the
[10-Sep-18 05:43 PM] HeuristicWorld#6964
The messages in #15362 were deleted too but I pasted those from my own message because I'd copy/pasted those to a different channel. I've also found them in my older log backup now. Here's something that paste left out:
[15-Sep-18 06:28 PM] curi#0644
can you quote any bullying statement or define bullying?
[15-Sep-18 06:29 PM] HeuristicWorld#6964
You're saying I am dishonest and a dictator etc...
These messages are in my backup log from 2019-08-28 but are missing today, so I think Andy must have deleted them when he rejoined in Jan 2020.
2019-09-12 TheRat ragequits Discord the first time
> curi clearly has autism and has no idea how to socialize, take jokes or even understand what people are saying in-explicitly. Trying to build a philosophical world view based on his failure to understand people is a ridiculous endeavor. Now I know why DD wants nothing to do with this wanna be nonsense. This isn't Philosophy, this is a cult!
> I am out. Gl to the rest of you who have drank his holy kool-aid. I hope you can deprogram yourselves and see him for the farce that he is. Can't even tel Discord Warrior is a troll.
FI discord dates:
andy join: 2018-08-18
andy leave: 2018-09-15
rat1 join: 2019-07-16
rat1 leave: 2019-09-12
aug join: 2019-09-14 (two days after rat rage quit)
aug leave: 2020-01-04
felix join: 2019-07-31
felix leave: 2019-08-21
rat2 join: 2019-11-06
rat2 leave: 2020-01-01
andy rejoin: 2020-01-11 (apparently to delete old messages which were still in the log files on 2019-08-28 but are gone today on 2020-02-04)
#15361 Felix twitter now deleted
It was created in Aug 2019 and didn't have much on it anyway.
Question for the Four Strands leaders like Bruce Nielson, Aaron Stupple and Dennis Hackethal: Was Andy on the AGI Research Group google group prior to the Four Strands google group? What were the dates that he joined (and left?) your groups? And what are the join and leave dates for Felix, TheRat, and any other sock puppet or collaborator which joined your groups?
Some cached info
#15370 Someone who is not a Four Strands leader told me that Andy first posted to the Four Strands google group on 2019-11-27.
The Story So Far
This is all either one person, Andy, or two people, Andy and Felix, who are working together. The main piece of evidence that it's two people is a source told me they'd spoken to Andy and Felix and that they have different voices. The source said that TheRat's voice (which I recorded on stream) matches Felix. Maybe he used a voice changer or got a friend to do a few voice chats to fool my source.
After my blog post, Andy deleted his reddit account, set his twitter protected, and blocked lots of people on twitter. TheRat deleted his reddit and Twitter. Felix set his twitter protected and blocked lots of people, then deleted it.
On Jan 11, around or a few days after when the doxes, spam and threat happened, Andy rejoined the FI discord server and deleted a bunch of his Sept 2018 chat messages. Looks like he deleted the last week of what he said to try to hide the circumstances under which he left, which included rage and flaming. I have a full backup of those logs from before the recent tampering.
Andy has been posting hateful things about me, under the Andy name, in the last few months, at the Four Strands group.
Andy and Felix, if there are two people, have shared an IP address and probably computer equipment. They are connected IRL in addition to sharing info and coordinating online (they show up in the same threads all the time, have the same uncommon interests and knowledge, know and talk about the same stuff, write very similarly, etc.).
I have several other major pieces of evidence that I haven't posted.
Andy has a history of harassing people on reddit using his main kodheaven name:
I found another one of Andy's (or possibly Felix's) reddit sock puppets which posted about a specific city he lived in. Also Andy deleted his 10 year old Twitter:
Andy his hiding evidence. First he deleted his 7 year old reddit account (around 24,000 karma from posts+comments) where, some years back, he e.g. posted things about his jobs, family and location.
The Twitter account he's deleted is even older: made April 2010 (so 10 years old). The Twitter account has also posted things about his location, age, and probably much more.
Hop, of Four Strands, thinks the situation is just *my word against Andy's*. The evidence I have presented is just as good as Andy ... not presenting any evidence and covering his tracks by deleting all the evidence he can:
There's something about the Four Strands atmosphere which has spread so much hatred that some otherwise-normal people (I *think* Hop and at least some Four Strands leaders qualify for that, but jeez) become extraordinarily unreasonable.
Hop seems to have no idea what standard of proof would satisfy her short of a successful court case (but why would that convince her? Maybe I could win in court using my fabricated database and server logs). She doesn't want to be convinced and she isn't trying to compare my case to Andy's case (he doesn't even have one) to see which is better. Note that the Four Strands leaders have not cared about evidence, said any problems with my evidence, or asked for anything to help convince them, so there's no way to satisfy them. And they should stop promoting hatred in any case (hop can go check that the quotes i gave for Four Strands hatred are real, unless/until the four strands people start deleting evidence too).
Reddit karma (post+comment added together and approximated):
andy main account: 24000
andy/felix known sock puppets: 300 + 1050 + 1500 + 50 + 450 + 350 + a few accounts with near zero = 3700
by comparison the current idw mods have karma around 36k, 30k, 29k (the amount of karma you get depends on the size of the subreddit. bigger = more voters = more karma. so looking at active users from the sub he's used the most is a good way to compare.)
so 27.7k karma btwn his main and sock puppets is a totally reasonable amount for one person to do.
#15378 So Andy's reddit sock puppets have posted a combined total of around 15% as much stuff as his main account. That's super reasonable.
They also routinely do things like defend Andy, post the same material Andy is interested in and pretend to be a crowd who agrees with Andy or likes the material Andy likes, talk in the same threads as Andy, and help him evade the moderators who have been trying to ban and block him at a variety of IDW related subreddits.
They also have done something else which provides a clear link between them and Andy which I'm not going to reveal right now.
#15379 The 15% figure is very compatible with it being only 1 person. The amount the sock puppets have written elsewhere also fits it being one person.
Andy was a toxic rager Dec 4, 2015.
not coincidentally, andy made a reddit sock puppet on dec 9, 2015, which i found earlier. after seeing it writing comments defending andy, i checked its history and there was clear evidence it was him.
I think he started sock puppeting cuz he kept raging and getting in trouble on reddit, so what he started doing is generally say his most toxic stuff from sock puppets and hide the toxic more as andy.
The people currently defending Andy on Twitter (PresidentSunday, KS) aren't providing any evidence or arguments and are willfully ignoring the evidence provided to them, including this thread.
They're also lying about Elliot with no evidence or arguments.
Below tweet from KS is a reply to an unrelated tweet by DorfGinger. I thought I should post it here since it doesn't directly mention curi42 and wouldn't directly notify Elliot.
> Hey you have your DM off so I just want to tell you that Elliot Temple (curi 42) is a terrible person. He became super angry with David Deutsch and critical rationalists for no real reason. Basically he thinks he's a genuis and he thinks we should should all worship him.
Assertions but no evidence or arguments. Smears framed as helpful warning rather than tentative judgment open to correction. It's libel and wrong!
More tentatively: I dislike that they seem to be treating it like a social game, defending their ally Andy, rather than a truth-seeking endeavour based on the facts of Andy's history at FI. Trying to discredit Elliot doesn't change any of the evidence, but it sure gives them an excuse to ignore it.
I hate that fact-backed claims about their wrongdoing get buried or ignored with time. Like Dennis Hackethal's book filled with plagiarism of Elliot and DD is still for sale and Amazon censored the one honest review (Elliot's review explaining the plagiarism issues and poor scholarship). Only Scott Hamilton seemed to take those plagiarism claims seriously to publicly ask Dennis some critical questions (although only about a separate issue, whether Dennis had plagiarized any of Scott's ideas for a discussion platform design).
The secondary David Deutsch discussion group seem content to continue discussing with Andy and Dennis and not calling out any of their problematic behaviour. That's terrible and their own thinking is being harmed by those choices. If they're doing it because there's a scarcity of people interested in CR for them to discuss with, they'd be better off requesting some constrained. bounded discussions with FI and trying to expand on those instead of accepting and condoning criminal behaviour.
Andy B's latest Twitter account: https://twitter.com/Epistemicide