Imagine – if you can – not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken.
And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools.
Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless.
You are not held back from any of your desires by guilt or shame, and you are never confronted by others for your cold-bloodedness. The ice water in your veins is so bizarre, so completely outside of their personal experience, that they seldom even guess at your condition.
In other words, you are completely free of internal restraints, and your unhampered liberty to do just as you please, with no pangs of conscience, is conveniently invisible to the world.
You can do anything at all, and still your strange advantage over the majority of people, who are kept in line by their consciences will most likely remain undiscovered.
How will you live your life?
Posted by Rebecca Watson on May 31, 2008
Things look bleak for our humble cause. I was reinstated to the JREF forum yesterday and found that they had given me moderator powers. I helpfully pointed this out to them with a thread ( http://forums.randi.org/showthread.ph… ) in the community section, and also I banned my arch enemy Scrut (who as you may know started the competing Ban Rebecca cause here on Facebook). Just after my 2nd post in that thread, I was banned.
I messaged the mods of the forum asking why I was banned, and was told there was an “investigation” pending. Because no one else seems to know I was banned, I thought I’d just send out this helpful note to all of you, my dearest supporters in this difficult time concerning Very Serious Issues.
The things you dig out of Google cache… It was just a random result ralphed up whilst looking for something else and it led to a broken link. I found the above in the cached copy and doing some more digging eventually found the actual page. Screencaps are appended below.
As tempting as it is to think this may actually be a real call to arms, I doubt even Watson is that stupid. But you have to remember she has the cunning of a sewer rat – this is more likely a desperate effort to salvage an unsalvageable situation using her stock standard “mock bitch” mode and create the impression that her vile behaviour has been misconstrued, vastly exaggerated and it’s all really just a storm in a teacup… An exercise in pure distraction.
Much the same tactic as she used in her second post-Elevatorgate video when she was first beginning to realise that her catastrophist dramatics weren’t quite getting the universal support she fully expected and deserved – laying on with a trowel the hipper-than-thou snideness to deflect from the basic reality: that she is a selfish, spoiled, drama queen brat that really can’t deal with life whenever it proceeds in a manner that’s not 110% to her satisfaction.
The important thing to note is that in both cases it is clearly evident that Watson would rather eat broken glass than admit any wrongdoing, and the psychopathy is clearly evidenced by the convoluted manner she went about trying to maintain her waif-like, irreproachable innocence.
But the basic fact remains – there’s no amount of lipstick or manipulation she can ever use to disguise the reality that she was banned from Randi.org for committing a criminal act. A criminal act of the kind that, given the right circumstances, is more than sufficient to earn the perpetrator some serious jail time. This is compounded by the fact that the criminal act was both coldly calculated and remorselessly executed.
I detailed Watson’s actions in a previous post fairly thoroughly. It can be briefly summarised as follows – Becky used unauthorised administrative access at Randi.org to access areas of the site where she should not have been and proceeded to tamper with and delete other users’ data, and to delete other users’ account credentials and identities1. This IS a CRIME in most jurisdictions anywhere on the planet. In a subsequent post I compared her actions to those of David Kernell, currently in a Kentucky prison, for the email hack that exposed serious malfeasance in Sarah Palin’s political machine – ostensibly a somewhat nobler intent than Watson’s pure malice, and certainly no more criminal than Watson’s actions. Here are a handful of other comparisons found after a few minutes googling –
Instead, they’re facing serious prison time for alleged crimes that some people might not think are all that serious.
County prosecutors allege Omar Khan, 18, of Coto de Caza, and Tanvir Singh, 18, of Ladera Ranch, broke into Tesoro High School in Las Flores to steal tests and change their own and others’ grades on the school computer network.
While Singh allegedly only tried doing it once, Khan apparently did it several times.
Khan’s been charged with 69 felony counts and could get more than 38 years in prison. Singh faces four counts and could wind up with three years.
- Khan was sentenced to 30 days in jail, three years of probation, 500 hours of community service, and was ordered to pay over $14,900 in restitution. Singh was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and three years of formal probation. [link]
33-year-old Leon Walker is charged with a felony ‘hacking’ count following the incident, during which he discovered his wife had been unfaithful to him.
- Conviction status unknown, possibly still in court.
An Orange, California, IT manager who earlier pled guilty to hacking into his previous employer’s computer network was sentenced Monday to five months in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said this week.
According to a plea agreement dated August 30, 2004, Mark Erfurt broke into the computer systems of Santa Clara, California’s Manufacturing Electronic Sales Corp. (MESC) on January 23 and 24 of 2003. During that time, he deleted data, read e-mail, and downloaded a proprietary database from the network using the PC Anywhere remote control software, the agreement says.
- In addition, was also sentenced to five months of home detention and three months of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $45,000 in restitution.
The list of these examples is endless. And while these can be viewed as deliberate crimes, there is additionally the serious risk of similar prosecution for inadvertent or genuinely ignorant information system abuse. What is readily evident is that law enforcement and the courts definitely do not share Watson’s view that this type of vandalism is a “joke”.
Yet to Watson it is a “joke”. It is hard to see how. The willful destruction of other users’ identities is the online equivalent of cold-blooded murder2. To any folks that I know and deal with normally, it is a final taboo, it is a line that you never cross under any circumstances, no matter how bitter your disagreements, nor how antagonistic your relationships. You just DON’T DO IT. Watson however has no such compunctions, no remorse, and judging from her bragging, no regrets. And the only thing preventing her from repeating these actions in future is her awareness of getting caught (again) – definitely not any inherent moral or ethical considerations.
This is the person that CFI, The Naked Emperor, Gollum and SGU endorse, support and think is an appropriate role model for the godless and skeptic movements. Why aren’t more people asking them why? Myers at least has the excuse of being an equally abject and amoral harlot, but the rest? This is a cancerous lesion within the movement and someone at some point needs to address it or else the rest of us just abandon it all and go home. To allow the status quo to persist with Watson and company having carte blanche to behave like absolute pigs and peddle their noxious ideologies slandering community members indiscriminately can only be explained away by one of two possibilities – apathy or complicit corruption. Either is not even close to acceptable.
Footnote – Criminality and Denialism (22 September)
Nowhere does the complete absence of ability to be objective by Watsonistas present itself quite like in the denialism that Becky actually did anything criminal. I am sure they would maintain the same point of view were I to find their webmail credentials on a candy wrapper and proceeded to send abusive email from it to all their friends prior to deleting all their messages. Uhuh. Plausible.
Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of the penal codes for the US –
“Unauthorized access” entails approaching, trespassing within, communicating with, storing data in, retrieving data from, or otherwise intercepting and changing computer resources without consent. These laws relate to either or both, or any other actions that interfere with computers, systems, programs or networks.
Similar laws apply in pretty much any of our first world (“pink and pudgy”) states.
1 – I don’t want to hear any of this shit “oh but they left the door open…” That is a nonsense. If you walk down a street and see a house with a door open, that does not entitle you to walk in, rummage around and destroy any diaries or personal paperwork you may find. It was a CRIME. In my time working in the IT security industry, the simple act of even touching another worker’s computer without their express permission was grounds for instant dismissal, let alone tampering with their accounts. It was a CRIME. End of story.
2 – If you consider this an exaggeration, consider how you would feel if someone who didn’t like you gained access to your primary email account, deleted all its contents, sent a bunch of abusive messages to others with your signature and then locked you out of the account or simply canceled it. Bet you’d really be laughing it up.