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Why I just banned Bogumil


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#1 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 01:27 PM

I've resisted banning him for several years, simply because I knew it was what he wanted.

At first it seemed as if he just had a very tasteless sense of humor, but there are a number of us here and at other forums in the US and Europe who have realized that a theme has definitely emerged.

Whether or not they represent his genuine sentiments, his comments and online behavior in general have become transparently bigoted, racist, and nationalistic, specifically taunting with fascist rhetoric, singing fascist anthems on YouTube, "dedicating" a song to his critics by neo-nazi, white-supremacist band Skrewdriver, and most recently, a reference to ethnic cleansing on facebook. These are only a few examples.

It's always been a strict policy here to avoid political discussion, but bigotry isn't politics, it's just hate wrapped in a flag, and I won't have the Wormwood Society associated with anyone who behaves this way.

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#2 Joe Legate

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 01:32 PM

And please allow me to add, this was after a continuing discussion with the Advisory Board. Not only did we agree with Gywdion's action, we encouraged it.

#3 Hedonmonkey

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 01:37 PM

Well done!

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#4 Derrick

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 01:52 PM

Good riddance I say!
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#5 Alan Moss

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 02:00 PM

As one of the few here who has met and spent time with Boggy, I don't recognise him in Gwydion's comments.

Gwydion's first post here originally included a photo of Bogumil which I took a couple of years ago. I did not give permission for that photo to be used here and asked for it to be removed. Thanks for doing so.

It was being used here as part of the evidence and I felt it was being used out of context. I was not at all offended at the time. I certainly took it as being no more than a joke after a lot of absinthe one day in Switzerland. I don't recall the exact context but he may have been waving at someone behind me at the time I was taking a photo, and he may not have intended it to be a "Nazi salute" as suggested here. On balance I don't believe it was. A quick Google search will throw up photos of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin making similar gestures that I am sure were unintended and have also been used out of context.

I don't want to start a debate on this; the decision is made. Maybe I should just apologise to Boggy for providing some of the "evidence" that was used against him. I felt it unfair to use it out of context.

Edited by Alan Moss, 14 January 2011 - 10:20 PM.

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#6 Joe Legate

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 02:07 PM

If that was everything, it wouldn't have even been discussed.

#7 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 02:23 PM

What Joe said. As I mentioned, this is part of a larger pattern and includes private correspondence that I don't have permission to post in public.

And that doesn't even take into account how many people he's mislead into thinking he actually knew what he was talking about regarding absinthe.

He's just offended enough people and generated enough complaints that I finally went ahead and did what I've wanted to do ever since he got here. He was a nuisance.

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#8 peridot

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 02:45 PM

THANK YOU!

His shit is the principle reason I've had no patience to read any absinthe-related threads around here for a couple of years. He's always been a transparent troll and I'm thrilled to death that he's been flushed.

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#9 Phoenix

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 02:54 PM

I support this decision 100%. I've seen new people mistake his seniority here as authority many a time and his disinformation does absinthe education a huge disservice.
"He's a politician. It's like being a hooker. You can't be one unless you can pretend to like people while you're f***ing them."

#10 peridot

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 02:58 PM

That's exactly the problem. When people get drawn into debates with him to try to clear up his ridiculous misinformation he switches topics, moves goalposts, throws out innuendo and foreign language book references, and uses other bad-faith debating tactics to draw people into his world and make an entire topic impenetrable. It hurts the cause of getting the best, most accurate information out there because he makes sure to keep things as murky as possible.

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#11 Absomphe

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 03:08 PM

THANK YOU!


That about sums it up for me.

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#12 mgs

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 03:15 PM

So all that shit he just wrote about Lemoncello is false information ? ---> mf !

I see, now, that his posts about absinthe were always bizarre...

but, I did not notice any "trigger" in his last posts that would give an "enough is enough".... Anyway, I am new here, and you know what happened in the past.

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#13 White Wolf

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 04:58 PM

It's been a long time coming. There is no room in polite society for racism.


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#14 Pierre

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 06:04 PM

I also want to thank you, Advisory Board. I never personally saw his racism come to light on these forums, but he always came off as a prick wanting to argue for arguing sakes. He definitely took away from what I feel is by far the most enjoyable forum around.

For whatever reason he is gone, good riddance.

#15 OMG_Bill

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 07:56 PM

Just a few posts and it's evident there are some nice folks on here that could have easily spoken up but let it ride. Out of politeness or just good character. These are the folks that make this a good place to hang out.
Thank you, :cheers:
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#16 DesertWolf

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 08:23 PM

Guess I missed all the fun,
oh well
Time to louche another one...
:cheers: Toast to our moderators
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#17 Gruene Fee

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 09:01 PM

Well. Wow. I mean. I've only been around these parts for a year and some months, but never have I actually taken Boggy seriously, at least to the point of offense. I mean, to me he's just a guy who knows a thing or two about a thing or two, by the way.. maybe not absinthe per se, but about a thing or two; and also has a knack for creating some turbulence. I have never noticed racist tendencies, certainly nothing obvious. Granted, I hang as thick a shroud on all incoming traffic here as I would in any public internet environment/atmosphere. Growing up with the internet has made me a bit numb, in that sense.

I suppose if I still want to get my Boggy fix, I can visit some other forum...
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#18 baubel

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 11:13 PM

:cheers: Thanks advisory board!




I rarely look at the other forums, and when I do, a few minutes is always good enough for me. Not like this place. :wave2:

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#19 dakini_painter

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 04:56 AM

I personally consider Boggy a friend (as much as you can be with someone simply through online interaction). I've never noticed anything racist in him. Perhaps not as politically correct maybe in his phraseology for American tastes. And even if he isn't as knowledgeable as others want him to be, or imagine, well there isn't a lot anyone else can do about that.

And when the perceived "racist" comments appear on other internet sites, I guess this means that people should moderate their internet behavior if they want to be part of WS? Hm. Something to think about I suppose.

If you want to hate others for being different than you, for speaking different than you, for having opinions and views different than you, you can do that. But I don't think it reflects well on the WS or it's supposed principles of openness.

Sorry for the interruption of the piling on of the invective.

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#20 Joe Legate

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 07:03 AM

I understand your feelings, Cheryl and respectfully disagree. Difference of opinion is not the issue.

A year or so ago I approved a new member. Almost immediately after, we realized I had made a grievous error. This person was actively engaged in selling pornography where the subjects involved were of questionable age. We closed that account quickly. Quite frankly, we didn't know if the person's activities were illegal or not. We did know the activity did not reflect favorably on The Wormwood Society. This is perhaps an extreme example but accurate nonetheless. We are not suggesting Boggy's activities were illegal or in violation of the Geneva Convention. We are suggesting his behavior was counterproductive to WS's educational objectives and his behavior on other internet avenues could potentially damage WS's reputation. As Gwydion mentioned, there are other issues that would be inappropriate to discuss publicly. I know some people won't care for that but such is the promise of privacy.

We don't expect everyone to agree with our actions but the Advisory Board was in agreement.

#21 mgs

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 07:28 AM

Well, I hope the Advisory Board has strong motivation based on other sites or forums. Although his comments were kind of strange, and may have mislead people (like me in the lemoncello thread), there is a lot of derailing happening in all the threads, one example was the one started by Alan a few days ago.

Now, in my opinion, singing "Giovinezza" which was considered a second anthem for Italy even before the WII (so it might be considered a fascist song, not nazi), does not frame him as rascist, it shows he knows history, and hopefully he understands the context that such song was used during that time.

And, I never noticed any racism from his side HERE. At least, during the months that I read his posts. I remember well when I first searched for his posts, when someone, impolitely, suggested that my username was Boggy's puppet. And the second picture showed in this thread might be out of context, like Alan suggested. So, the evidence, at least presented here looks very weak.

After that "Boggy's puppet" comment, I decided to turn down my involvement at WS and just passively read or make only some simple and plain comments here and there. But, at the same time, made me more aware of Boggy's post, which made me even more upset by trying to understand why the WS member compared me to him.

The decision of the board is certainly based on more information, and previous interactions, but for the "regular member" like me, it seems odd that someone is banned because of comments made in other forums, freedom of speech is a constitutional right isn't ?

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#22 Brian Robinson

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 07:43 AM

Freedom of speech doesn't mean you can yell profanities in the middle of a classroom and not be escorted out.

There are consequences to actions. Period.

Like Cheryl, I also consider Boggy a friend to some degree, and will continue to correspond with him (and occasionally break his balls ;) ) at FV and on Facebook. But I agree with Joe and Gwydion that his tendency to really only participate when he wants to cause controversy and misinform people makes it difficult to see him as an asset to this forum, regardless of how much information or experience he has to share, since you have to sift through a lot of vitriol and 'opinion presented as fact' to get the bottom of it all.

There really is no more reason for debate, since many of the reasons for the booting won't be published anyway, so those who are not in support of the actions are not basing their decisions on complete knowledge of the situation.
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#23 Alan Moss

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 07:47 AM

I'm confused.

Gwydion's first post states that the banning was because Bogumil is (in Gwydion's view) a racist and a bigot. If no-one had commented, that would have been the only reason given.

When people start to query that, the reason for his being banned becomes partly something that cannot be revealed and/or partly because some people consider him a PITA.

Was Bogumil given a clear written warning? Was he given a chance to defend himself? Does he know what the charges are?
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#24 Brian Robinson

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 07:53 AM

Boggy was already on a 20% warning, and yes it was expressed to him in a written message as well. Some time ago, in fact.

He and I have also talked at length in private about many of these matters and about how he's starting to offend a lot more people. To be frank (and I think he might agree with me too), I think Boggy took that as another reason to keep pressing the envelope. I feel, based on my interaction with him recently that he's been playing a game of chicken with the WS, and to a lesser extent, FV for quite a while, trying to force people to play their hand. I think, for some reason, he WANTED to get banned.

I'd love to discuss what he and I have actually said, but again, those are private conversations, and I don't want to disclose what he has said to me without his permission.
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#25 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 08:10 AM

Frankly, I never paid him much mind. He is what he is. I was wondering, however, if he will still be allowed to review? Now that's where I found him to be frequently bizarre.
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#26 Brian Robinson

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 08:18 AM

I didn't find it as much bizarre, as just not going by the given criteria. Frequently, for example, if he thought a louche was too light for his taste, he'd give it a 1, where it should have really been given a 2 or 3, based on the criteria.

I'd spoken with him about correcting his reviews to reflect what his written statements showed, so many of them were corrected, but I still run across a few here and there that are not consistent with his written review.
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#27 fingerpickinblue

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 08:51 AM

I agree with that, as well. I said bizarre because sometimes his opinions were just so far off the reservation that they almost couldn't be believed as being genuine. A good many of his reviews seem highly agenda driven.
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#28 Brian Robinson

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 08:53 AM

We talked about that too. :laugh:
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#29 m.a.mccullough

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 12:18 PM

We must all remember that these situations that call for decisions like this are not concluded with personal reasons. This was a political and business driven decision I am sure. Its hard at times to remember that we have a purpose on this forum as we tend to mostly maintenance personal relationships with one another on here and have fun, but we do have the responsibility of learning and teaching the truth's about absinthe first and foremost that is the WS's purpose. The banning of any person from a forum does not imply they are a bad person in any way but just a liability to the forums integrity or reputation. In some cases it could be sad to have to let someone go because we may all be close to them and its hard to put personal feeling aside when political issues need to be considered, that is why there is an advisory board. It is the advisory boards job, much like a government in relation to it's country, to think of whats in the best interest of both the forum and the subject the forum is related to in a global whole. I am sorry for you all on the board for having to make such decisions, i know they can be tough at times but to everyone out there reading this keep in mind, you can't keep global finance alive without starting a war every now and then, and we can't keep this forums purpose alive without occasionally banning someone, good or bad, right or wrong, whether we like it or not but for the purpose of protecting integrity and reputation.

Edited by m.a.mccullough, 14 January 2011 - 05:30 PM.

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#30 Joe Legate

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 12:50 PM

I'm confused.

Of course you are. ;)

something that cannot be revealed

Like I mentioned earlier, that comes with the promise of privacy. You and I have exchanged several email and PMs over the years. Those are private communications and I would not share those without your expressed permission. Others may want to know what we talked about but it's information I won't share. It's not a topic for discussion.


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