A Year with Email Sockpuppets

Over the past year, I have received a number of email messages from persons using fake or misleading identities. The motive appears to have been to try to manipulate my writing, or to fish either for information or for some quote which could be used against me. Usually, an IP proxy was used. Here’s the list:

1) 14 August 2009: An email arrives in the name of Paul Ray. Ray, as I’ve blogged a number of times, is the self-styled “spiritual leader” of the English Defence League, although he has been marginalised from the movement. This email is not from Ray, but from someone faking his identity and using a similar email address. The message directs me to a website which has reposted some of Ray’s blog posts along with a new posting praising the neo-Nazis of Stormfront. Whoever did this obviously wanted me to write a bogus exposé, but they may also have been playing a double game: the new posting aped Glen Jenvey’s dyslexic writing style, so this may also have an attempt to spread discord between Jenvey and Ray or to manipulate me into writing something about Jenvey. A few weeks later, the real Ray complained on his site that someone had planted fake messages in his name on the RevolutionMuslim website.

2) 12 January 2010: The first of a series of emails arrives from “77 Truthseeker”, who signs himself “Kelvin”. He claims to have a number of documents concerning Dominic Wightman, and he explains that they were passed to him via email from a certain “mebsy786” in response to a request for information left on a real-world notice board at “Library House”, a squat-cum-community centre in south London. I play along for a while, and “Kelvin” comes out with all kinds of supposed  inside information about Charlie Flowers, the “Cheerleaders”, and “P-Group”, including purported real names, and warning me that they are dangerous. Whatever question I ask, “Kelvin” has a ready answer.

3) 5 March 2010: An email arrives from someone asking me about Farah Damji’s links with the “Cheerleaders”. The email is signed with the initials of someone who had previously been targeted for “Cheerleader” harrassment in relation to Damji, but again it’s a fake.

4) 18 August 2010: An email arrives in the name of a Muslim woman asking me how “the hacker group known as the Cheerleaders” had managed to delete a Facebook page she supposedly helped to admin, called the “Rise of Khudi”. This was a Hizb ut Tahrir-related Facebook page which did exist and which was deleted recently. Presumably the idea was that I would write back and this would expose me as someone who works with Muslim extremists. This email address also contained the number “786”.

UPDATE (30 August) : Unsurprisingly, Flowers has now created an anonymous attack blog accusing me of being a member of the far left and of being in league with Islamic extremists. This is part of Flowers’ mental syndrome: when challenged or criticised, he reasserts his sense of self-empowerment with on-line creepiness that anyone with a bit of dignity would consider too demeaning to engage in. As I’ve said before, this isn’t so much a matter of politics as a case of psychological dysfunction.