injures others, brings hardship to oneself, soils the mind,
Why do people spend SO much time online fabricating stories and being generally disruptive?
As you navigate through this site, you'll find many references to the Usenet newsgroup alt.freemasonry where so many of those seeking attention seem to congregate. Some of them will tell lies - repeatedly and usually quite deliberately - but yet will become indignant and abusive when their deceit is exposed. Many of them make ridiculous and often downright nasty claims and yet, will berate Masons for not having been more friendly and welcoming to them. Accusations of "stalking" and "harassment" are sometimes hurled at Masons (especially this site's author) when it is noted that they have used the same tired arguments and have been corrected multiple times in the past. They want, it seems, to have you forget their prior comments and accept that their behavior is now as pure as the driven snow. Could they really have forgotten that they'd been corrected in the past? Will they apologize now when being corrected yet again? Don't hold your breath, folks: disruption and/or garnering attention - often denied - seems to be the name of the game for these folks.
Many of these internet 'identities' will also attempt to retaliate against Masons who 'dare' confront them by complaining to internet service providers, lodges, and wherever they think they might be able to have their way. They'll rail against Masons who, they assert, are 'stalking' their often pseudononymous postings and will sometimes even post personal and family information about the Masons who confront them. It's a bizarre world.
Keeping up-to-date on the various 'characters' who inhabit the alt.freemasonry newsgroup on a day-to-day basis is not only futile but a waste of time that could otherwise be spent enjoying life. Although some Masons do spend recreational opportunities reading and responding on USENET, it's not as addictive as it seems to be for Freemasonry's detractors. The disruptors seem to gain great pleasure in posting dozens and sometimes hundreds of screeds berating Masons (and, perhaps tangentially, Masonry).
Because 'you can't tell the players
without a program', this page has been created as a snapshot just to mention
those who usually make the most noise. We'll update it on an irregular
basis when major shifts in the 'players' occur.
We'll do this in chronological order....
"Steve" - Continuing along with his periodic cross-postings, this individual has stated that he will save the world from Freemasonry. It appears that he intends to accomplish this by doing a cut and paste of pages from websites into the alt.freemasonry newsgroup. Most 'regulars' have had his nonsense killfiled by now so there's little if any response to his screeds. Of particular note is the fact that "Steve" or "Stevez" doesn't believe in the inerrancy of the King James Version of the Bible, citing instead a firm attachment to the Geneva Bible being the ONLY correct Bible. That SO many of those whom he quotes are rabid defenders of the literal interpretation of the King James 1611 Bible to the exclusion of any/all others and consider anyone not in agreement with them to be lying heretics, there's a really humorous situation here, one that has been pointed out to "Steve" several times but one which he chooses to ignore in his attempts to denigrate Masons. It's also pretty humorous that one of "Stevez"'s ongoing rants against Freemasonry is that they 'keep secrets' and - according to him - anyone who keeps a secret is a liar. He's been requested to identify himself MANY times but ignores such requests. Apparently he doesn't recognize the dichotomy created by his use of a pseudonym to keep his identity a secret!
Jon Riley also known as "Granite Stone" - This individual came to our attention several years ago when we first began this site. At that time, he would intermittently post cut-and-paste screeds to the alt.freemasonry newsgroup related to 'renouncing Freemasonry'. In his present incarnation, he babbles endlessly about kleenex-boxes, seances, and how he's able to observe everything from clues in movies. Mr. Riley signs his posts with "Black Watch" - but, as is typical in the whacky world of anti-Masonry, he's not referring to Scotland's military unit with a proud history commanding instant respect. Certainly someone as bizarre as Mr. Riley wasn't a member, was he? Of course not! HIS definition of "Black Watch"? "People who watch black." He also uses "Shadow Watch" - defined, by him, as "People who watch shadows." Make sense? No? Did you really expect it to?
Jon at one point took to criticizing the activities of the Toronto Society for Masonic Research for hosting a renown Masonic researcher to speak at a local church's facility. Using such persuasive arguments as "All Freemasons are gay." and "My father was an Orange Order Freemason (Masonicinfo Note: there's no such thing!) and I can remember him being very young working at the University of Toronto and he looked like Harrison Ford. 30 years later when he died he looked like Al Copone <sic>." (ostensibly because of Freemasonry). Mr. Riley - who must be at least 40 if the above 'remembrance' is to be believed - seems to be a very confused individual. He is generally ignored. In early May, 2005, he announced that he had terminal cancer and would be dead in ten days. As of this April 2007, he's still posting - and we suspect that he'll continue to do so for a long time to come. Why, oh why, are anti-Masons SUCH liars?
Jason Christie - Like Mr. Riley and also posting under hundreds of pseudonyms, this individual's posts are regularly filled with profanity and bizarre stream of unconsciousness blathering. Imagining himself to be some sort of reptile at times, he invariably cross-posts on multiple unrelated newsgroups in order to gain attention. Using newsgroups as varied as alt.alien.vampire.flonk.flonk.flonk (don't ask us: we have NO idea what that's all about) to alt.aviation.disasters, he appears to have no life other than that of a bizarre Usenet personality. Well-known by many all over Usenet for his aberrant and abhorrent behavior, he has told bizarre and ridiculous stories about himself and reportedly fancies himself as having been a reptile. He seems to delight in disruption on a grand scale with Freemasonry as one of his many targets.
John Weatherly - Apparently not content cross-posting to five religious newsgroups, Mr. Weatherly at times will add alt.freemasonry to his repertoire. In a bizarre encounter in July, 2004 he jumped in on a thread wherein a poster had made the claim that Freemasonry banned Jesus from the lodge. Because that post had gone to a half-dozen other groups as well (anti-Masons are notorious for such games), alt.freemasonry 'regulars' got to meet John Weatherly who replied, <<THAT part is true. Back in my working days, a co-worker and Mason tried to recruit me. Only he was a Unitarian atheist. And was totally free to preach his atheism at Mason meetings, where "all views are welcome", according to the literature he gave me.>> Now because Mr. Weatherly uses a 'no archive' notation in his messages, that post is only available from a contemporaneous second-hand posting shown here. For Masons, that remark was SO wrong in SO many respects, it's difficult to know where to begin. John also leaped forward with an objection to the youth organization DeMolay sponsored by Freemasonry:
In fact, Mr. Weatherly was challenged on his claims several times. First, he said that he simply couldn't reveal the ritual because he had taken an oath not to do so. Asked to provide proof, though, that the DeMolay obligations EVER contained anything about 'tongues', he could not and quickly sought to avoid further discussion on that charge. Advised that adults were welcome to view the 'private' DeMolay ceremonies and thus they were not "secret" as he'd claimed, he then demurred citing the theft of all of his books in a robbery (have you EVER heard of a robbery where someone steals BOOKS from a person's home?) and then his (possibly self-diagnosed) bi-polar disease as reasons for his non-compliance. You can also see flashes of Mr. Weatherly's dodge and weave along with his 'potty mouth' in this message. Bottom line: DeMolay has NEVER required anyone to "bow to the East" as Mr. Weatherly claims - and we have actual DeMolay rituals from the time period during which he claims to have been a member to support this assertion.
As you can see, Mr. Weatherly's ramblings are nothing more than unsubstantiated babble and his claims have more holes in them than Swiss cheese. Beyond that, he exhibits what we perceive as a very nasty underside as shown by his flippant remarks.
Daryl "Plutonium" Carstensen returned to the newsgroup after a several year absence. His prior behavior was 'legendary' enough for his (then) pseudonym to be mentioned in the deHoyos & Morris book, "Is It True What They Say About Freemasonry?". He came back because - if you can believe this story - "someone" was using one of HIS e-mail addresses to post outrageous messages. At first Mr. Carstensen was generally well behaved and respectful, showing a degree of maturity not seen during his prior posting period. As the days passed, however, "Filmnoir" returned to religious screeds and absurd, oft-refuted charges against Freemasonry. Obtuse to the point of obstinacy, he seems to blithely ignore rational explanations while clinging tenaciously to extraordinarily inflexible positions even when they are completely self-contradictory.
Readers might also get a chuckle out of his VERY slow loading website here containing his promise of making a video mocking Masonry in 2006. On his site too, he claims that some Freemasons deny that the all-seeing eye is a Masonic symbol. We've never seen anyone do that, frankly, because in most jurisdictions it's even part of the ritual lectures. We think it's just another example of how Daryl simply doesn't 'get it'. CLUE: The all-seeing eye - in many, many jurisdictions - is CERTAINLY a Masonic symbol without any question; the all-seeing eye AND THE PYRAMID are NOT, however, and we've got a page about that whole issue right here.
Mr. Carstensen is mentioned here, not only because of his prolific posting but also because he has (for years, apparently) proudly worn a Masonic ring. He has even made a point of providing this picture! He doesn't seem to understand that jewelry with a group's insignia should be for MEMBERS of that group and not for those who want to wear it because 'it's pretty'. In one USENET post he explained "I wear one for artistic and aesthetic reasons. 10k gold. Onyx". (Click on the graphic for a larger picture.) A couple of weeks later, he elaborated (with his tortured writing style which ignores even basic rules of grammar): "Of a truth, I must find Masonry very fascination <sic>, why would I have a large shelf of books on Masonry, why would I have Masonic aprons hanging on my walls, Why would I have for the last 10 years been in and out of this newsgroup, Why would I have tried to understand Masonry, read about Masonry, Why have I worn a Masonic ring, It must mean that Masonry means something to me."
Yet, not even six hours later, when accused of fraud through misappropriation of Masonic symbols, he wrote "What am I trying to pass myself off as? Certainly not a Mason, since the Masonic symbols are not unique to Masonry. To me the square and compass are nothingness then <sic> an artistic symbol that means whatever one wants it to mean. Don't lay your trip on me trying to say that it's a Masonic ring. It's not true. and you know it." Can Mr. Carstensen name some other organization in the past 300 years that has used these symbols in this construct (that is: a compass oriented as ^ with a square oriented as v overlapping it and a G in the center)? (Masonicinfo Note: We had to add the information in parenthesis as Mr. Carstensen apparently didn't 'get it'.) Does he think thousands of jewelers around the world who'd call what he wears a 'Masonic ring' just don't have his level of knowledge? Maybe he thinks that a lot of the people wearing Masonic emblems on a ring (or their car or their t-shirt or ball cap) are NOT Masons but who, like himself, just 'likes the design'??? Can he explain this - or ANY of his many flip-flops of logic? Based on his prolific online behavior, Daryl is again becoming one of anti-Masonry's most vocal and visible 'representatives', embarrassing as that may be to them. Unbelievably, he complains that Masons haven't been 'friendly' enough towards him.... <sigh>
A week after assuring us that he was "fine" with being listed here, Mr. Carstensen changed his mind. We wondered why he didn't feel that his anti-Masonic behavior warranted mention particularly since he was simultaneously doing things like posting to the alt.freemasonry newsgroup a listing of Famous Masons whom he claimed were homosexuals. When challenged about such behavior, he claimed that his list was just 'for discussion'.... He then claimed that he was going to stop posting. Yet, as is generally SO predictable in USENET, during the following week he posted hundreds of messages. He subsequently began flooding US with e-mail in which he fancies that every phrase on this website is tied somehow to him. After a decade of scurrilous comments about Masons and Masonry (including up through the day before changing his mind about being profiled here and continuing well thereafter), having an anti-Masonic website, promising to make a derogatory film about Masonry, AND wearing a Masonic ring for whatever bizarre reason, Daryl apparently feels entitled to a 'do-over'. (And see below....)
As is SO often the case, the behavior of anti-Masons defies rational or reasonable explanation!
The press of time kept us from being an active participant in the alt.freemasonry newsgroup most of this year but we kept up with the often laborious and wasteful reading. "Steve", Jason Christie and John Weatherly seem to have found something else to do in life but on 18 April 2006, Jon Riley announced, in what appeared as a drug-addled post, he had contacted prior "starships" throughout the eons and that he was dying of cancer. He stated that his doctor had told him he would be dead by the end of the week (April 21, 2006). True to his aberrant behavior, it was all a lie and a month later, he was back to his idiotic and infantile behavior again. This has continued sporadically throughout the balance of the year and Mr. Riley has, not surprisingly, failed to respond to inquiries about his previously announced demise.
Mr. Carstensen sent us a message near year end indicating that he had changed his mind about Freemasonry. His message stated "...I donít even think or feel that old way and to update you here. I have a friend that is a Mason, all of this old information you have up on your web site about me is old and very dated stuff that I donít even believe anymore." Amazing, isn't it? What a difference a few months can make after several years of ranting - enough so that he was actually mentioned in a book - but suddenly, things have changed. "When I read this stuff up there that I said in the past I laugh at how stupid I was, how effected by other writers and other people in the past I was." and "I donít believe any of this junk that I said anymore." It's good that Mr. Carstensen can now laugh at his stupidity as others did for years. Apparently, though, he feels entitled to a 'life do over'. Interestingly, he has made no public recantation and we can only wonder why. Perhaps after he has posted messages equal in quantity to those he posted berating Masons and Masonry in the past, we might consider his epiphany as being legitimate but until then. Actually, even HALF that number would keep him busy for a couple of years....
And 2006 continued another year of the bizarre activities of the pseudonym 'Nena', formerly known as 'Marta' (second reference here). This year's claims kept the participants of alt.freemasonry rolling in laughter at every turn. The funniest claim, though was made by the sock-puppets 'Michel and Sophi' that 'Marta' had died. Needless to say, they steadfastly refused to provide any details after they announced that they were "moving" from 'Marta's' house, yet another pseudonym, 'Nena' appeared with an identical writing style and the background knowledge that the poor ostensibly deceased 'doctor' had. Funny how identities seem to arrive with such foreknowledge of events on alt.freemasonry yet claim to have arrived fresh on the scene. Even more comic is the lies on which this entire farce is based.... Oh, and about that pseudo-death: no Canadian newspapers had any announcement of a doctor named 'Marta' dying. Does that surprise you? Poor Marta / Nena / BeaverFolk or whatever: railing about how awful this website is because it 'exposes' her hatred. A pseudonym upset: it is to laugh!
Roy Jose Lorr made an appearance again with his inimitable style while episodically, a troll from Edmunton, Canada has 'carpet bombed' the newsgroup with hundreds of huge screeds copied and pasted directly from other websites. Although he has publicly posted his name regularly, we won't even give him the satisfaction of being mentioned here. After the first couple of his posts, you'll simply put this one in the kill file. Don't try to understand it: you might think he's written something but, in reality, he hasn't. Ostensibly a laborer on construction projects, this individual fancies himself as having been a trained assassin and he often lashes out against an individual he identifies as having taught him spycraft. He's set up a section on MSN where his misspellings abound and where purloined material exists in profusion. Apparently the only reason the site isn't shut down is that the stuff he's stealing gives the whacko authors more publicity which they gloat on. It's like looking down the rabbit hole....
And last but not least is 'Satchel' who arrived at alt.freemasonry with tedious ramblings about the evils of - who else? - the perennial whipping boy Albert Pike. Of course, it was quickly noted that while 'Satch' was posting things to alt.freemasonry ostensibly about Freemasonry, he was off on several unrelated religious newsgroups (alt.catholic, alt.baptist, alt.pentacostal just to name a few) wailing about the fact that a candidate for governor in Alabama belonged to the Masons whom he identified as being racist. Interestingly, on alt.freemasonry he was presenting himself as a Mason but - as is usual when someone is behaving unMasonically - refused to disclose his identity. In fact, 'Satchy' seemed quite indignant that he was found to have been posting totally different rants elsewhere on Usenet. He has been prodigious in posting, arguing ceaselessly about the validity of Pike's writing and insisting that everyone was wrong but himself. He writes that he understands and accepts legitimate explanations and then a few messages later will dismiss that which he had just accepted or write as if he had never heard it. Substituting his own bizarre beliefs for reality (no one on alt.freemasonry knows about the rituals he experienced because they aren't from Alabama, for example), his claims to being a Mason were laughable. Often using religious arguments, he has admitted that he simply doesn't attend church and is of 'no particular denomination'. He stated that he hasn't attended church for 17 years because of his work schedule. Apparently none of the several hundred churches in Birmingham, Alabama have any type of activity except during his working hours. Nevertheless, he preaches his religious views unceasingly and expects that everyone will accept them as being fact. It's so very typical of those described on this site as 'religious intolerants': they're upset because everyone doesn't accept their faith beliefs and yet, when examined, they have no basis in training or experience (in this case, having no training in theological matters and, in fact, not even bothering to attend any type of Church service) but will argue with their dying breath that THEY have the right answers about religious matters. (In the case of 'Satchel', he also exhibits his bizarre know-it-all behavior by arguing about things like dividing by zero. A railroad worker trying to prove how much he knows about.... You get the picture!)
On frequent occasions, 'Satchel' has shown himself to be extraordinarily bigoted towards those of faiths other than the unspecified 'Christian' one he claims for himself. As an example, he stated "Here is an analogy. You join the U.S. Marines, then one day you think that you will begin to practice your Muslim faith and chant "death to America". Can we spell 'xenophobia'? He has argued ad nauseum that in the Master Mason degree he was 'resurrected'. After writing that he now understands he was wrong in his interpretation, he'll return a couple of days later to repeat the charge all over again.
His blurted admissions have shown much about his character. Why did he (supposedly) join? Candidly (despite lots of subsequent back peddling) he wrote: "I was inspired by the fact that Masonic brothers stick together and I thought I might need a favor one of these days, since my lifestyle was not lilly white. Perks like getting a speeding ticket fixed or any favor a brother Mason could "reasonably" provide without harm." He's also been proud to say that he's employed by the railroad in Alabama and bragged that regardless of how poor his job performance, he cannot be fired. Curiously, he claimed to not be able to remember the name/number of his lodge and when that claim was met with peals of laughter and derision by Masons online, he proclaimed that he was a Viet Nam veteran. When the comparison to the two was made, he was strangely silent about his claimed service. (Masons and REAL veterans find such things laughable in the extreme.) At the end of 2006, 'Satchel' was demanding that Masons PROVE he was a member of a Birmingham Lodge in order to "restore <his> honor" while concurrently having 'chats' in public messages with the pseudonym 'Nena' about how awful the Masons are. Admittedly receiving NO attention anywhere else he posted, he's become a fixture for the time being in the alt.freemasonry newsgroup. For 'Satchel' whose 'drama queen' outbursts are often hilarious in their absurdity, and who seems totally incapable of telling the truth (i.e., he'll concede that a Mason is right and then a week later start with the same, tired argument that was previously addressed), alt.freemasonry apparently offers the attention and 'recognition' he desperately seems to crave and apparently has never had in real life - although, absurdly, such 'recognition' extends only to his pseudonym! Oh, and by the way: all of Satchy's messages now are marked "No Archive = Yes" so that his outbursts and obtuseness won't be forever held in Google's bosom. Too bad - but we've saved them all so there's no problem.... <grin>
Looks to be another year of 'same-old, same-old'. Spring in the Northern latitudes found Satchel dropping out of site. A Masonic conspiracy perhaps or the realization that his lame attempts to prove that everybody was out of step but him were no longer interesting if he could not influence a local election. The ever-present Nena, after a torrid mutual-affection grope with Charles Douglas Wehner, didn't get her desired pity-party as she announced she was off to have a major operation. In fact, no one even blinked it seemed.... What was that fairy-tale about crying wolf???
Moving towards summer (convert this if you're south of the Equator!), Sam Moser was back killing electrons in the millions and wearing out his 666 calculator while Raymond Karczewski chose the two closely-related newsgroups of alt.freemasonry and alt.gossip.celebrites to share his sovereign citizen theories that have landed SO many others in prison. Mr. Karczewski has been an active supporter of anti-Mason and now infamous tax evader Ed Brown.
And as we passed the half-way point of the year, the pseudonym known as 'Marta' (formerly known as Nena, BeaverFolk and numerous others - second reference here) began a 'bleeding hearts' moan about her ostensible health problems. No mention, of course, of the surgeons who were such good friends, they'd house sat and even posted to alt.freemasonry for some time on her behalf. Her sole point of affinity was with Charles Wehner, the fellow who single-handedly stopped world-wide inflation. (Wonder why he hasn't stepped in to use his super-powers again? <shrug>). Good ol' Charles warned her of the evil Masonic doctors (despite his complete ignorance of her physical whereabouts) while she continued to troll for sympathy. She whined about unspecified problems and medical mysteries but received scant sympathy: the phrase 'crying wolf once too often' seems to have relevance here. Then, in another apparent ruse (remember that this is a person who claimed to have had friends mysteriously killed and Masons staking out her house), another identity using her account posted as "Nena's Friend" to announce that she had had her surgery but passed away from complications. Masons, having seen this account be used for fantastic changes of identity previously, were skeptical, not only because - as one of the replies noted - "Nena" had stated that "Marta" had passed away previously. And further, why would someone be posting as "Nena's Friend" if, in fact, the ostensible decedent was named "Marta"? Too complicated.... but you can enjoy the whole saga here. The ostensible (using that word a lot here, aren't we? For a reason....) obituary notice was, with some investigation, located at the website of Saskatoon, Canada, newspaper. That obituary was curious both for what it said and what it didn't say:
Didn't the pseudonym 'Marta' write that her son had died a couple of years ago? Oh, and what happened to the many claims that she was a physician? Gosh, that's a bit of a large omission, isn't it? Needless to say, there were no condolences in the 'Remembrance Book' on the last day the obituary was publicly available. It's now retrievable for a fee at this address but you've got the full text (without the picture!) above. Most alt.freemasonry regulars await another return of this oft-morphing identity. If, on the other hand, this really is true and this person who had for so many months instigated dissent online, it is rather pitiful that her many lies were stripped away while her noxious paranoia and accusations caused her to receive no sympathy whatsoever from the few people with whom she seemed to keep contact. Curiously too, Mr. Wehner was noticeably silent, apparently only interested in her support of his own rhetoric which she regularly provided. The anonymous "Nena's Friend" closed their participation in a huff. We guess it wasn't her invisible surgeon friends Michel and Sophi who were SO familiar with all of the posters online and only stopped chatting because Marta had returned home to disrupt their house-sitting gig. It was also noted that the obituary indicated a date of birth of January 1 while she herself claimed to have been born on September 20th. It's all pretty pathetic: she made herself into an object of absurdity and continued the charade even unto - perhaps - death. We express our sympathy to her (apparently not deceased?) son who may not have been aware of this bizarre behavior on the part of his mother.
Much of the alt.freemasonry absurdity seems to be moving to comments made on various blogs at this juncture. In 2008, we may shift our coverage to that venue since it's yet another location where sanity seems painfully absent.
Usenet seems to have become a thing of the past. As we've moved forward through 2008 it has become apparent that the use of a text-based system where anyone can post anything has precious little appeal to anyone. In July/August, many internet service providers announced that they would soon discontinue carrying newsgroups, decisions which certainly make sense based on limited usage, seemingly worthless content, and cross-posting to dozens of unrelated groups of simple screeds. As a result of this, we will likely discontinue our ongoing reporting of individual usenet posters. There are many bloggers who will toss in a zinger against Freemasonry from time to time, either out of ignorance or stupidity, but these have been far less pervasive than the usenet denizens of days gone-bye. It's the end of an era in Masonophobia, it would seem.
Those not familiar with newsgroups may be unfamiliar with the term "nick" or "sock puppet". Here's a brief explanation:
A 'nick' or nickname is how one appears in their messages and/or forum and blog posts. Very few use their own name but a goodly number do this in order to 'express their feelings' and, truthfully, avoid accountability for their often ridiculous claims. Those who want to keep their identity private will assume a 'nick' different from their own name. Those who want to deceive will simply create multiple pseudonyms, shifting from one to another, sometimes sequentially (apparently unable to keep things straight if they don't do it that way) and sometimes without limit.
A "sock puppet" is generally just another "nick" that has been created by the poster but instead of using his earlier pseudonym, he'll post under another 'identity' in support of the original poster's (his own) claim/charge/whatever. John will write, "Masons are all snake killers." and within a short period of time, a previously unknown poster (we'll call him "Jerry") will arrive to say, "That's true. You're so right, John."
Is this a bit childish? It's like holding a paper mask in front of your face and pretending to be someone else.... That's just part of the everyday infantile behavior found on online and is particularly seen with those attempting to prop up the 'fake Masonry' groups.
And lest anyone make any assumptions, those named here are not the only provocateurs (or nuisances): they're simply those who were pretty 'regular' and often the most prolific.
Updated May and December, 2006
and a bit more in April, 2007 with changes in August, 2008.
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