Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Sandusky of the family court

I try to avoid libeling anyone on this blog, but a new case may force me to reconsider. Scientific American magazine reports:
Michael Mann, an influential climatologist who has spent years in the center of the debate over climate science, has sued two organizations that have accused him of academic fraud and of improperly manipulating data.

Mann, director of Pennsylvania State University's Earth System Science Center, on Monday sued the National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, along with two of their authors, Rand Simberg and Mark Steyn.

The lawsuit, Mann's lawyer said in a statement, was based upon their "false and defamatory statements" accusing him of academic fraud and comparing him to a convicted child molester, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Here is the most offensive post:
Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science
The analogy is based on the accusation that Penn State failed to adequately investigate either one of them for misconduct. You can get one defendant's response to Mann here.

You can get the Mann complaint on the LegalTimes blog, which give another offending quote:
"If an institution is prepared to cover up systemic statutory rape of minors, what won’t it cover up?" Steyn wrote. "Whether or not he's 'the Jerry Sandusky of climate change', he remains the Michael Mann of climate change, in part because his 'investigation' by a deeply corrupt administration was a joke."
I check my logs to see whether I ever compared any family court officials to Jerry Sandusky. I did comment on Sandusky last year here and here. My main concern was that hysteria about the case would be used to expand the power of CPS and others who arbitrarily take away parental rights without good evidence.

I do not think that that Sandusky got a fair trial. There was no physical evidence, timely complaints, or neutral witnesses. Every single prosecution witness was someone with recovered memories and a lawsuit against Penn State for millions of dollars.

I did not actually say this, but I do not see how it could be libel for me to say that psychologist Ken Perlmutter is the Jerry Sandusky of the family court because he molested and tortured data in the service of a corrupt family court, and was inadequately investigated for his bad behavior.

I even think that Perlmutter is worse than Sandusky, because I do not think that Sandusky raped anyone. And Perlmutter did deliberately and maliciously use his authority to abuse my kids.

Mann's complaint says:
4. Recognizing that they cannot contest the science behind Dr. Mann's work, the defendants, contrary to known and clear fact, and intending to impose vicious injury, have nevertheless maliciously accused him of academic fraud, the most fundamental defamation of his professional reputation, defendants have also maliciously attack Dr. Mann's personal reputation with the knowingly false comparison to a child molester.
I don't see how Perlmutter (or the other psychologists, such as Bret Johnson or Faren Akins) could say anything like this. There is no science behind his work. To the extent that he might claim that there is any academic science, he is an academic fraud. That is not the most fundamental defamation of him, because he is much worse than that. I would never make any knowingly false comparison to a child molester.

I did once compare Johnson to a child molester, and my ex-wife complained to the court about it. But the court said that was free speech and lawful. I also posted this Perlmutter complaint about me comparing him to a child molesting psychologist. But that psychologist has not been convicted, and yesterday's newspaper updated his story:
SANTA CRUZ -- A civil lawsuit has been filed against a Capitola psychologist who is facing criminal charges of sexual abuse against a child.

Dr. John William Visher was arrested last month at his La Selva Beach home after Capitola police investigated allegations that he committed lewd acts against an 8-year-old girl. The girl had been his patient and detectives believe the incidents occurred at Visher's former Bay Avenue office in 2009.

Last week, the girl's family filed a personal injury suit against Visher in the civil divisions of Santa Cruz County Court. It charges him with sexual harassment, professional negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and seeks unspecified damages.

Visher pleaded not guilty on Oct. 9 to five felony charges that include lewd acts upon a child, sending obscene material and possession of material depicting a minor engaging in sexual conduct. He is due back in court Nov. 14.
I happened to know that Perlmutter has committed bad acts against an 8-year-old girl. I have listed them on this blog. Visher could have been framed for the purpose of collecting on a big lawsuit, for all I know.

Mann argues that he should not be accused because Penn State University has exonerated him. I am not sure why Penn State administrators should have the last word on the subject, but Perlmutter, Johnson, and Akins have never been exonerated by anyone, as far as I know.

Mann's complaint makes a big deal over one of the defendants having removed a Sandusky comparison from a blog, and admitting that it was inappropriate. I would expect that Mann would be happy about the removal, and that the removal would not cause liability for the defendants. But maybe I should not remove anything until I study this lawsuit better.

I am going to have to be careful about what I say until I study this lawsuit. From what I know about free speech law, it seems to me that the lawsuit has no merit. Perlmutter is probably reading this, and considering hiring Mann's lawyer. So until I can confirm the law, I will avoid saying that Perlmutter is the Sandusky of anything.

Update: Defendant Mark Steyn now accuses Mann of lying about getting a Nobel Peace Prize. I guess he is not too worried about the lawsuit.Eastland Newport Slip-On Shoes (Google Affiliate Ad)


Anonymous said...

George - on your original post under today's date, you wrote: "I happened to know that Perlmutter has committed bad acts against an 8-year-old girl." Did you mean to write VISHER instead of Perlmutter? Barbara

George said...

All I know about Visher is what I read in the newspaper. I consider him innocent until proven guilty.