To Be Attacked by a Cyber-Space Troll, installment nine

By Mark Richards, 2019

“Philosophy” often is thought of as an impenetrable academic topic where “some rumpled guy in mismatched tweeds ambels up to the podium and starts lecturing on the meaning of ‘meaning.’” (Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein; Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar…, [New York; Penguin Group, 2007}, pg. 4.) However, some of history’s most influential philosophical thinkers also had military service in their resumes. Rene Descartes, for example, was a military man in addition to being a foundational thinker in the Enlightenment. Socrates fought in the Peloponnesian War, and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius spent a great deal of his reign on military campaigns along the Danube.

A coherent command philosophy should keep subordinates pulling the oars together and on course, even when their leader is not present to give direction. People will listen and act on what they hear and see, so, written or unwritten, a command philosophy should contain wisdom. Philosophers have been capturing their views on wisdom in writing for millennia, so knowing where to start can be daunting. If you are commanding a military unit, you are leading a community with the larger nation. Thus, the place for an American to start is the Enlightenment, as this nation is a product of Enlightenment thought.

The Enlightenment was an intellectual rebellion against the establishments of the church and state and the control those institutions exercised over the lives of individuals. By our era, the idea that the individual is capable of making rational choices independent of direct state or religious control is fundamental to how the United States conducts military, police, and even civilian operations. Young men and women are deployed to remote postes, standing watch at night in ships and alone in aircraft with weapons, and expected to make rational, ethical, life-and-death decisions. The fact that the vast majority of the time they do make sound decisions under the most trying circumstances seems to validate the Enlightenment ideal.

Immanuel Kent was arguably the most important figure of the Enlightenment and in the history of philosophy. If a non-philosophy professor is going to know anything about Kant, it is his categorical imperative (what one ought to do, because it is good in and of itself and conforms to reason). [Immanuel Kant; Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic Morals, translated by T.K. Abbot (Amherst, New York; Prometheus Books, 1988), pp. 41-42]. The first formulation is, “Act only on that maxim whereby thou canst at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” (Immanuel Kant; Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic Morals, translated by T.K. Abbot [Amherst, New York; Prometheus Books, 1988], pg. 49). While this might sound like a noble goal – even a secular version of the Golden Rule – this formulation sets a low standard. Ultimately, leaders want those they command to take actions that go above and beyond what we could expect as a universal law.  Kant’s second formulation is, “So act as to treat humanity, whether in thine own person or in that of any other, in every case as an end withal, never as means only.” (Immanuel Kant; Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic Morals, translated by T.K. Abbot [Amherst, New York; Prometheus Books, 1988], pg. 58). Certainly, the  U.S. military’s challenges with sexual assault, hazing, and revenge porn are the result of those who treat others to an end.

The challenge with both of these formulations in a military command is that when you follow the logic to its conclusion, you find “the idea of the will of every rational being as a universally legislating will. “ (Immanuel Kant; Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic Morals, translated by T.K. Abbot [Amherst, New York; Prometheus Books, 1988], pg. 61). As philosopher Joseph Brennan writes, “Kant’s constructed community is an enlightened philosophical anarchism.” (Joseph Gerard Brennan; Foundations of Moral Obligations [Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1994], p. 93). Military leaders want individuals they lead to make sound decisions, but  they do not want anarchy, even it if is an enlightened philosophical anarchy. The rational, ethical decisions we expect members of the military community  to make must be founded on and fall within the bounds of good order and discipline and the laws of conflict. Further, to be considered lawful combatants, military members must be subject to military discipline, as the ideal of every rational human being making sound, ethical decisions in all cases is not borne out by experience. The recent actions of English trolls against my family and myself being an object example.

The larger challenge with Enlightenment thought is the shift in focus to the individual independent of the state, which created a divergence of the value and identity of the individual as separate from and superior to the larger community. This tension can be found in the Constitution the U.S. military is sworn to protect. It begins with the words “We the people” and ends with the Bill of Rights. So, American military commanders are given a group of people raised on the Declaration of Independence’s “inalienable rights” of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” and in a society that increasingly views the community as existing for the purpose of enabling individual pleasure. Yet, these leaders must forge an effective organization where members must limit the size and location of their tattoos, restrain their speech and social media activities, and also swear that they are willing to give up their inalienable right to life in accordance with Article I of the Code of Conduct. Here is where Aristotle can help.

Most will agree that Aristotle did not get everything right; however, what has endured includes brilliant insights that are fundamental to an effective military (or business) command. First is his observation that the “city which is best adapted to the fulfillment of its work is to be deemed greatest.” (Aistotle, Politics, from The Basic Works of Aristotle, Richard McKeon ed. [New York; Modern Library, 2001], pg. 1, 293.) The single word that applies here is telos, the end to which something aims. (Joseph Gerard Brenna: Foundations of Moral Obligations [Novato, CA;  Presidio Press, 1994}, pg. 93.) Individuals in the U.S. military have joined and remained in the service for disparate reasons, but they all raise their hands and swear to support and defend the Constitution – that is a unifying force. Further, using authorities granted by the Constitution, the mission of each service has been defined in law as being prepared to conduct proper and sustained combat operations in support of national interests. That is the telos, and it is something that everyone in the command must understand and the end to which all effort ultimately leads.

The second useful idea from Aristotle is: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” (That famous quote is not Aristotle’s, but a summation of his thoughts in his Nichomachean Ethics by historian Will Durant in The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World’s Greatest Philosophers. Frank Herron, “It’s a MUCH More Effective Quotation to Attribute It to Aristotle, Rather than to Will Durant,” (University of Massachusetts, Boston \; 2013), found at the website: This is a point of which I am sure the scumbags currently assaulting my family and myself have not concept, as none of them have ever been ‘excellent’ at anything other than being failures. As Niccolo Machiavelli wrote in his 1513 work The Prince, “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” Difficulty does not excuse complacency, of course; any more than selfish motives of momentary advancement by attacking an old friend who is temporarily an easy target can be forgiven.

To be continued…

To Be Attacked by a Cyber-Space Troll, installment six

By Mark Richards, 2019

In the previous installments of this report, I expressed how my family and I have found ourselves in the unenviable position of becoming targets for the Fake News pundits, some fanatic English cyber bully, and his pack of New World Order followers.  The cyber thing opened his attack with a series of interviews that offered some questionably one-sided ‘witnesses,’ attacking us with accusations and twisted truths based more on mistakes and their deliberate lies than any sort of real evidence – apparently a standard for this sort of cultural molestation by half-baked internet hacks.

In March 2019, the Englishman – whose sole claim to fame seems to be how deeply he has wallowed in the porn industry – informed the public in one of his mad, semi-literate diatribes – that he has “declared war” on my family, friends, and myself. An interesting choice of words, in this day of terrorist threats and murderous manifestos, that would seem to bring up a number of questions concerning the rights and expectations of American citizens to be protected from such attacks. And yet, when we question how it is that these rude trolls are able to carry on such attacks unencumbered by truth or the protection of the law, we are told that is all a matter of perception.

Cell biologist Bruce Lipton put forth that our perceptions control biology and that we acquire many of our perceptions indirectly without even realizing it. These perceptions dwell in the subconscious mind, prompting us to engage in limiting behaviors.

Perceptions give rise to beliefs, and beliefs are incredibly powerful. This is why it is important to be aware of exactly what we believe and really determine the perceptions that have caused us to adopt particular beliefs. Was it something that we heard our parents say repeatedly as we were growing up? Did the perceptions come from a particular teacher we admired? Are we buying into the perceptions of collective consciousness?

One way to uncover those beliefs is to look at our experiences and work backward, asking ourselves what belief caused a particular event or situation. When we have a flat tire and someone immediately stops to assist us, the belief might be that everything we need comes to us. If we are in continuous conflict with others, the belief could be that the Universe is not a friendly place. When we determine our beliefs, we can ask ourselves if those beliefs that we picked up along the way really serve us or not.

One might remember the scene in the movie Tangled (based loosely on the story of Rapunzel), that occurs when the heroine subdues a mischievous thief who ended up in her tower while he was fleeing the authorities. She knocks him out with a frying pan and stuffs him into a wardrobe while she decides what to do. The woman who kidnapped and raised Rapunzel conditioned her to believe that all people are dangerous and bad and taught her to fear outsiders. In this scene, Rapunzel stands in front of the wardrobe and exclaims twice, in fear, “I’ve got a person in my closet!”

Then she catches her reflection in the mirror, and her perception shifts from one of fear to one of possibility. She exclaims, this time with confidence, excitement, and anticipation, “I’ve got a person in my closet!” This man, she thinks, can help to guide her to the kingdom’s annual festival of lights. She has long dreamed of witnessing the festival up close, not just from her distant tower window.

Like Rapunzel, people, too, have the ability to shift perception in the blink of an eye from one of fear to one of possibility.  When we remember that the Universe is operating for our good, we can look at what might seem to be a scary and uneasy situation, and know that there is infinite possibility in it. This shift in perception empowers us to affect the outcome of the situation to one that places us securely in a feeling of confidence, peace, and the expectations of good.

I am consciously aware of how I perceive the world, choosing to perceive the truth and seek positive answers without attacking the thoughts of others or condemning people just because we don’t agree. When confronted with a challenging situation, I choose to consciously shift my perception, accepted the unlimited possibilities for good that lie within it. Only when some nasty dangerous fool openly “declares war” on me do I shift into a darker response mode.

I remember my maternal grandmother pointing out that “The foolish man, living only in sense perception, has no measure for Reality and builds his home on false opinion and erroneous concept.” The current enemy, who has apparently centered his life to this point in a world of pornography and self-indulgence, clearly is such a ‘fool.’ Sadly, as he is vocal and able to reach a large audience without any sort of control, he seems to have influenced a number of easily swayed souls so that they have now turned against anything I might say in my own defense. As the Talmud points out, “We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.” And if we are misled by a corrupt Pied Piper, we too become confused and blind to the truth. As Nona L. Brooks wrote, “Our attitude has all to do with determining the kind of experiences that come to us. The love attitude brings harmony of experience; the fear attitude, confusion.”

The American legal system attempts to protect the nation’s citizens from such Chaos, as the Founding Fathers of the country understood another teaching of my grandmother: “Heaven is lost merely for the lack of a perception of harmony.” They understood that a corrupt government, or a corrupt media, could destroy democracy and any hope of a ‘free and healthy’ society.

In its landmark ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) – which held political campaign spending is a form of protected speech – the US Supreme Court noted the First Amendment is “[p]remised on mistrust of governmental power.” The Court has also held that such mistrust extends to bans on books and other reading materials, since “freedom of speech is not merely freedom to speak; it is also freedom to read.” (See: King v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 415 F.3d 634 [7th Cir. 2005].)

Apparently the Internet Trolls that are currently attacking my family and myself have no regard for the US Constitution or the laws of this country. In addition to the many other privations that prisoners experience, we are often subjected to censorship of books, magazines, and even our own correspondence by prison officials. As the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit wrote, “The simple opportunity to read a book or write a letter, whether it expresses political views or absent affections, supplies a vital link between the inmate and the outside world, and nourishes the prisoner’s mind despite the blankness and bleakness of his environment.” (See: Wolf v. Levi, 573 F. 2nd 118 [2d Cir. 1978], revised sum nom. Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 [1979].)

Yet my current attackers have made it very clear that they seek to silence my right to free speech, and remove any ability that I may have to communicate what I see as the truth to the outside world. Such people might be reminded that in 1974, the Supreme Court affirmed “[t]here is no iron curtain drawn between the Constitution and the prisons of this country.” (See: Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539 [1974].) Writing for the majority that same year, Justice Thurgood Marshall stated, “when the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions; his yearning for self-respect does not end; nor is his quest for self-realization concluded. If anything, the needs for identity and self-respect are more compelling in the dehumanizing prison environment.” (See: Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396 [1974].)

Crucial to that need for self-improvement is the ability to read and study, to thereby learn new ideas and ways of thinking – and thus behaving, and working within the social structure. As a result, federal courts have found that incarceration does not automatically deprive prisoners of the First Amendment’s protection from policies that abridge the freedom of speech. (See: Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78 [1978].)

It is clever that our enemies at this point have absolutely no care whatsoever about these protections. They see only that I have presented a thought that they do not agree with, and they believe that I should be silenced at any cost.

To be continued….

To Be Attacked by a Cyber-Space Troll, installment five

By Mark Richards, 2019

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently ruled that the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause was violated when the government introduced videotaped deposition testimony without making a good-faith effort, based on the facts of the case, to secure the witnesses’ presence at trial. It is the law of the land in America that people get to face their accusers – for a number of good reasons.

In the case at hand, the government filed a motion to declare the witnesses were ‘unavailable’ and to allow the introduction of their videotaped depositions at trial. The defendant countered with a motion to exclude the depositions on the grounds that the government had failed to prove the witnesses were unavailable and that the introduction of the videotaped depositions violated his right to confrontation. (Ankney, Douglas; “Fifth Circuit: Introduction of Deposition Video Without Making Good-Faith Effort to Secure Witnesses’ Presence at Trial Violates Confrontation Clause,” Criminal Legal News [March 2019], pg. 29.) As the Supreme Court stated in United States v. Allie, 978 F.2d 1401 (5th Cir. 1992): “…[b]ecause of the importance our constitutional tradition attaches to a defendant’s right to confrontation, the good-faith effort requirement demands much more than a merely perfunctory effort by the government.”

In the past, the public has been protected from such un-Constitutional attacks by the appeal courts for criminal encounters, and by local courts when it came to what most would consider ‘slander’ or ‘false witness’ accusations. But because the legal system has not been able to keep up with the technology, we now find fanatics of every sort are able to accost us with any wild accusation or statement that they want, with seemingly no realistic recourse on the part of the victim.

How many children have you heard about over the last few years who have killed themselves after a cyber-bully attack? Nor are well-healed adults immune from such reactions to being emotionally butchered by such cowardly backstabbing. A well-known 23-year-old porn star, apparently hung herself in December 2017 after a number of bitter media attacks over something she had said.

My only recourse in my own case seems to be to ‘vent’ a bit, and try to remind the public of a number of factors that my enemies have overlooked in their rush to do harm to my family and myself. I am reminded of actor Jackie Chan’s words: “I allowed myself to be bullied because I was scared…I was bullied until I prevented a new student from being bullied. By standing up for him, I learned to stand up for myself.” (Quoted in Guideposts, March 2019, pg. 12.)

After 35 years in California prisons, very little scares me, and nobody bullies me. Another point, however, that most of us have heard before, but those of us in prison know often to be a false hope, is that “the truth shall set you free.” Anyone in prison, or who has suffered a government or media attack, will tell you that all too often the ‘truth’ becomes so twisted by the expert enemy forces that the sure weight of the falsehoods are going to convict you no matter what the truth might have been. And because in the new “Media Rules” society there is no such thing as “You’ve done your time,” or “Give the man another chance,” the more vicious pundit can excite the public ‘will,’ the less chance a man has to ever get out of prison.

Because of the timing of my own case – that the attack came shortly after the filing of paperwork requesting a commutation that might have allowed me to start going to a Parole Board with the long-range hope of someday going home – my family and I have to consider the possibility that the government still so fears my whistleblowing efforts that they will go so far as to organize a media attack to further discredit me and rebuild an active ‘hate’ and ‘fear’ towards me in the public mind. Why else, after nearly 40 years, would anyone try to dig up such long-forgotten stories?

Well, money for one thing. The men involved have been trying to get money from the public for months to supposedly use it in the making of a more elaborate video against me. One can only guess how much money they’ve already been given by interested sources that have a stake in trying to silence me. I might remind the public of the words of Ray Bradbury, when he warned that, “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”

In its landmark ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) – which held political campaign spending is a form of protected speech – the U.S. Supreme Court noted the First Amendment is “[p]remised on mistrust of governmental power.” The Court has also held that such mistrust extends to bans on books and other reading materials, since “freedom of speech is not merely freedom to speak; it is also freedom to read.” (See: King v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 415 F.3d 634 [7th Cir. 2005.)

In addition to the many other privations that prisoners experience, we are often subjected to censorship of books, magazines and even correspondence by prison officials, and everything we attempt to write of say is constantly looked at and often censored. As the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit wrote, “The simple opportunity to read a book or write a letter, whether it expresses political views or absent affections, supplies a vital link between the inmate and the outside world, and nourishes the prisoner’s mind despite the blankness and bleakness of his environment.” (See: Wolfish v. Levi, 573 F.2d 118 [2d Cir. 1978], rev’d sum nom. Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520 [1979].)

Yet restrictions on books and magazines have become commonplace in prisons and jails, and now someone is trying to silence my comments on a number of subjects by turning public attention against me – or perhaps even provoking an attack on me in prison to silence me once and for all. It should be noted that the men involved in this ‘cyber’ attack have already contacted my fellow prisoners in the attempt to make me look bad in their eyes – something that, in prison, can result in very dangerous situations, and leave me in a position where I have no options but to defend myself, and thus ruin any hope there may be for a positive action by the Parole Board.

In 1974, in Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396 (1974), writing for the majority, Justice Thurgood Marshall stated, “when the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions, his yearning for self-respect does not end; nor is his quest for self-realization concluded. If anything, the needs for identity and self-respect are more compelling in the dehumanizing prison environment.”

Crucial to that need for self-improvement is the ability to read and study, to thereby learn new ideas and ways of thinking – and thus behaving. As a result, federal courts have found that incarceration does not automatically deprive prisoners of the First Amendment’s protection from policies that abridge the freedom of speech.

And yet, here we are, with some group of cyber bullies, performing a smear campaign, trying to convince the public that you shouldn’t pay attention to what I might say because they want you to believe that I’m a ‘bad man.’

Let’s get something clear: after 35 years on the main lines of California prisons, I am a really bad man. I sure as Hell wouldn’t want me for an enemy. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t listen to my voice when I try to warn you that something is going wrong! I have never spoken or written a word over the last three decades that I didn’t expect people to question. I’ve told the public to question and research everything they are told. What I object to is the current fad of attacking a speaker or writer on a personal level when you can’t find a ‘real’ flaw in their arguments. This becomes no different than the street thug who beats someone into silence just because he is more brutal and can get away with the attack. The sad fact is that the government, and the New World Order-backed media, get away with this sort of tactic just about any time they desire. That doesn’t mean that we have to like it, or that we should remain silent when we see it happening yet again! As Americans, it is up to each of us to demand that our rights are not violated by the government or any individual who thinks they are above the laws of the land.

And it is our right, according to our American Constitution, that we can defend ourselves against those who attack us, or pose a threat to our loved ones and our nation. That is why I have started this series of essays, and why events have been set in motion to legally present my side of the story to the public in a rational and organized manner. If my attackers become a little worried about the direction things may take, so be it. How does it feel, punks? You should never have attacked my wife and children in public!

Sad, when a convict is the only one with any class left standing.

To be continued….

To Be Attacked by a Cyber-Space Troll, installment four

By Mark Richards, 2019

In the previous installments of this diatribe I expressed how my family and I have found ourselves in the unenviable position of becoming targets for the Fake News pundits, and some fanatic English cyber bully. The cyber thug opened his attack with a series of interviews with some questionably one sided ‘witnesses’ that attacked us with accusations and twisted truths based on more mistakes and deliberate lies than any sort of evidence – apparently a standard for this sort of cultural molestation.

The new generation of low-life Sirens seem to be seeking to solve their lack of ability to ‘debate’ by simply calling the rest of us names and disturbing titles. The problem is that their tactics works, as the general public isn’t always aware enough to question the wildly nasty accusations or accept the idea that not everything you may hear or read in the media is true. The more emotionally crazed the accusatory attack, the more the public is willing to go along with the threatening words being thrown around, rather than looking deeper into the motives and agenda of those making the loudest noise.

One may realize that Yellow Journalism has been out there for over a century, and we have only to look at any of the propaganda from either of the World Wars to see how well it works. But to any rational person it comes as a real shock when they find themselves as the targets of such attacks. Many have started to wonder if our civilization can survive this new age of cultureless, discourteous, harsh, impolite, tempestuous, fear mongers; seeing the negative force of such foul minds overwhelming everything from free speech to all other basic human rights and ‘truths.’

What I teach the men in my prison Debate Group is to never lower ourselves to that name-calling level. When our opponents emphasize their emotional and intellectual inferiority by trying to reduce the debate to name-calling and ‘fear tactics,’ we much be even more inflexible in our professionalism. The only things that can save us – or our cause – when a ‘louder’ opponent attacks, is our positive character, spirit, and calmly superior methods. If we can re-establish ourselves as the only real professional in the conversation – distinguished from the rude amateur – then the profane and enraged aggressor slowly is silenced by the weight of weakness within their own negative energy. As one professor assured me years ago, “No fool wins forever.”

Already mentioned in my last writing on this subject were the general concepts of the use of witnesses who have something to gain by their contrived testimony, and the reason that someone would perform such an attack on myself and my supporters. These ideas will be enlarged on in this and future reports, as our defense becomes more aggressive.  A sad point is that such a vicious attack would not take place in an environment that did not hold contempt in such high regard.

In a lecture at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2017, Arthur Brooks, of the American Enterprise Institute, analyzed the state of public disclosure, saying: “We don’t have an anger problem in American politics.” Though “Contempt” was not the subject of the lecture, audio engineers chose those comments to feature in a promotional video on Facebook.  Within a very short time, the video had received over 12 million views – making Brooks think he might have touched a nerve. (Cheaney, Janie B.; “Heaping doses of contempt” WORLD Magazine, September 15, 2018, page 16.)

In modern American political conversation, it’s not persuasive reasoning that tallies up likes and retweets, but the ability to “skewer” or “destroy” an opponent. Scoring often matters more in everyday life than peacemaking, kindness, or forgiveness.

Most of us know what contempt feels like, and the pain it causes. Now ask yourself honestly: Have I ever listened only to an attack? Mocked anyone who believed and acted differently? Brushed off someone trying to warn you of some perceived threat or danger that you didn’t believe in? It may be a fleeting emotion you regret later, but how do you feel about it when someone does that to you? Can you draw a line between despising the actions and despising the person? (Cheaney, Janie B.; “Heaping doses of contempt” WORLD Magazine, September 15, 2018, page 16.)

This sort of cyber contempt has become such a problem internationally that the United Nations has assigned human rights investigators to comb cyberspace to track how websites can stoke hatred and possible violence as part of expanding forensics into the role of the digital world in modern conflict. The influence of online anger and propaganda has been assessed for nearly a generation and is now part of the routine casework by security forces around the world. But the UN – whose reports are often crucial for possible international prosecutions – is now trying to catch up after years of relying mostly on firsthand reports from the field.

Rights investigators and monitors have used information from open-source Internet sites – including videos, satellite imagery, and inflammatory posts – to strengthen traditional fact-finding in flash points and the tragic headline stories where cruel words have forced people into suicide or acts of violence against others. Yet the public seems oblivious to the damage that such attacks can cause.

In 2018 the UN dispatched a veteran human rights official to Silicon Valley to build relationships with technology companies. Felim McMahon, who directs the technology and human rights program at the University of California at Berkeley law school’s Human Rights Center, described the United Nations’ pace of reform as “turning several battleships tied together.” The UN human rights office, however, has now realized, “We need to have our small teams, not just in the field, but on the Internet,” McMahon said, going on to add, “This is essentially putting the UN at the cutting edge of this investigative opportunity. In terms of arriving at the scene of a crime, they are going to be the first ones there.” (McLaughlin, Tim; “UN increases monitoring of hate speech on Internet,” Washington Post, November 27, 2018.)

The former commissioner of the UN High Commission for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, ramped up efforts at dialogue with tech companies. Hussein feared that the UN risked becoming irrelevant if it didn’t make inroads with global tech giants such as Facebook and Microsoft. The Internet is a “fantastically powerful “tool for “empowering people and enhancing their human rights on the one hand,” said Scott Campbell, a long-time officer at the UN commission. “On the other hand, the Internet has been used as a medium through which hate speech can be propagated with previously unthinkable speed and scale…sometimes with absolutely catastrophic effects.” (McLaughlin, Tim; “UN increases monitoring of hate speech on Internet,” Washington Post, November 27, 2018.)

You have only to suffer such an assault once to understand what they are talking about.

To be continued…

My comments on Kevin Moore’s YouTube update dated 4-19-19

By Jo Ann Richards

I would like to comment about several things that Kevin has reported via his video blogs and online forums/newsgroups:
1. The family home in Marin: Mark inherited it from his mom. Since he’s incarcerated, it has to be held in trust for him. I became one of the trustees before we were married; hence, the use of my maiden name. Since we are married, I can’t do anything to the house without Mark’s permission since CA is a community property state. I work very hard and cover all the expenses of maintaining this property: repairs, upkeep, property taxes, utilities, etc. I am not living ‘the gravy train’ as Kevin puts it.
2. Mark’s mom died peacefully in her Marin home, although Kevin would have you believe that she died in a trashy single-wide trailer park in Central CA. Yes, we suggested that Lois move there (we didn’t force her) as I was her only means of visiting Mark at that time; she was no longer driving. She lived in a lovely double-wide mobile home in a nice senior park; nothing trashy about it. I was able to take her often to see him. When he was transferred to a Southern Calif. prison, I moved with her back to the Marin home to help care for her.
3. In Oct. 2018, Kevin got into a New Mexico conference where I was speaking. Before the conference, he was refused permission to attend by the conference organizer. He snuck into my talk, illegally filmed part of it, and then heckled me during Q&A. He made a scene trying to convince the audience that Mark and I are liars. They did not appreciate it. He left, with hotel security making sure he did, and I filed a police report. His main question was about Mark’s timeline, esp. the date of his high school graduation. He was convinced that it was 1972 which would then throw off all other dates we’ve mentioned.
4. Mark graduated from high school in June 1971. I have proof of that. Mark has just sent to me additional proof as well – prison documents that verify his high school graduation and five college degrees. I will post these documents soon on my blogsite. I should also soon have their verification of his military career. If they can find it, why can’t Kevin?
5. I would like to point out that Mark’s friends in the 70s and early 80s did not know of his military activities because he was not allowed to tell them. That is how one was to protect their family and friends. So, just because ex-wife Caryn didn’t know the real reason why he would be gone for weeks at a time does not mean that he wasn’t in the military.
6. Just because ex-wife Caryn did not have children with Mark does not mean that Mark has no children. Kevin or his stooges have underhandedly tried contacting some of them. Thankfully, they knew better than to talk to him. Kevin tried to imply to Caryn that Mark cheated on her while they were married – not true at all.
7. Kevin has also contacted some of Mark’s prison inmate friends and associates. One man, a science fiction writer was duped by Kevin who led him to believe that he wanted to talk to him about his writing. After a while on the phone, Kevin started talking about Mark. That was the real purpose of getting the guy to call Kevin. What I would like all of you to think about is this: how did Kevin get those names? Names of friends and associates are not public record. Yes, once you have the names, you can find out their inmate number and the prison where they are, but not their housing information. Someone had to provide that information to Kevin.
8. I have all the court documents, too, and all the reports from police interviews. When the time is right, I shall point out flaws in what Kevin has been reported.
9. My purpose for speaking in the UFO community has been to share information about the military history behind UFOs, aliens, and space. It’s to educate people about little-known history about a cool topic. I’m not doing it to make my husband famous. It certainly has not been a get-out-of-jail ticket. It has certainly not made me rich.
10. I am not trying to deceive anyone. Most people appreciate the information that I share. I don’t expect everyone to believe it and they don’t. Our point has always been to people – try to disprove it, and they can’t. Kevin says he has evidence. Bring it on. All I see so far is discussions with people who knew Mark, but didn’t know about his military work; plus, the discussions with researchers who don’t know us, have never or barely ever talked to me, and yet they have very strong opinions about the issue.
11. Another question for people to ponder: the prison issue aside, what makes our information more unbelievable than others with their abduction and/or MILAB experiences, or the ones who have hybrid children, or those with UFO sightings? Many of those people are my friends and colleagues. Do they have physical proof? If they don’t, are they being persecuted? I hope not.
12. Lastly, a comment about Kevin’s remarks on Mark’s essay about cyber-space trolls. Yes, Mark used info from other articles. Good researchers do that to support their premise. The point of the essay is to point out that Kevin’s attack on us is clearly the type of method used by the government or law enforcement to discredit someone and keep them in prison as in Mark’s case. If Kevin was so infuriated about poor Richard Baldwin, why didn’t he look into it after he interviewed me years ago on his show? His timing is suspicious as Mark is now working on getting a commutation that would allow parole hearings.

No, Kevin, I will not be in your documentary. You do not have my permission to use recordings of our phone conversations. You do not have my permission to use any video footage that you filmed of me when you showed up in CO. You wanted me to believe that you were willing to do a documentary just on the SSP stuff. We know that wasn’t true.

If any of the readers want to politely/respectfully converse with me about this, please submit a comment on my blogsite:

PS – I have moved any evidence that I have to a safe location.

To Be Attacked by a Cyber-Space Troll, installment three

By Mark Richards, 2019

A 2014 Northwestern University study found that almost half of the wrongful convictions in death penalty cases were based on false testimony of incentivized witnesses, making snitches the leading cause of wrongful convictions in capital cases. By 2016, the National Registry of Exonerations found that 81 of 116 death penalty exonerations involved perjury or false testimony by incentivized witnesses, an increase up to 70 percent. Barry Scheck’s Innocence Project found that 25 percent of DNA exonerations involved the knowing use of false incentivized witness testimony, and 11 percent involved the use of coerced witness testimony. (“The Snitch System,” NW School of Law Center on Wrongful Convictions; “incentives, Lies, and Disclosure,” by Christopher T. Robertson and D. Alex Winkleman, Univ. of Penn. Journal of Constitutional Law 20 [2017].)

Families Against Mandatory Minimums noted in 2010 that the threat of mandatory minimum sentences coerced 25 percent of defendants to cooperate with law enforcement in hopes of persuading the government to file a motion for a sentence below the mandatory minimum, since only a motion by the government can get around a mandatory minimum sentence. (“Understanding Snitching” by Families Against Mandatory Minimums.)

The facts show that numerous studies have been conducted on incentivized witnesses, including their effect on wrongful convictions, why they decided to cooperate with the government or other authority figures, and what it takes to persuade someone to become an incentivized witness. While these studies went about their findings in various ways, they all came to the same conclusion: offered an incentive to do so, most people, even honest people, will lie in exchange for some benefit.

In a 2017 study led by University of Arizona law professor Christopher Robertson, two experiments conducted on hundreds of people showed that 20 percent of one group would lie as a witness for the government in a case against someone else to obtain leniency for an unrelated offense, and 55 percent in another study group would lie against one of their codefendants in order to get leniency. The vignette-based experiments conducted by Robertson and his colleagues showed that non-criminals elected to lie at a rate shockingly higher than one might have expected. At the same time they recognized that their experiments actually underestimated the rate jailhouse informants would testify falsely for the government. They based this conclusion on the fact that jailhouse informants would be even more inclined to lie than the average person – because that is what criminals do, they said. (Norris, Robert J., et al; “’Than That One Innocent Suffer’ Evaluating State Safeguards Against Wrongful Convictions,” Albany Law Review [2011]; and Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/115-21 [2003].)

Researchers at the University of Arkansas in 2009 found that an offer to students to get out of having to complete another assignment resulted in about one-third of them providing false testimony against someone, even when they were told that the person had not committed the offense. The researchers said this result was not surprising since incentive is a “selfish motivation.” (Bliss, Kevin; “Police Use of ‘Undercover Friending’ Investigative Technique Unregulated,” from

Added to the legal threat of such testimony, one now is faced with the new threat of the widespread use of social media to conduct unregulated, warrantless, long-term surveillance and openly aggressive destruction of individuals by the state of other special interest groups. Government agents have created Facebook accounts with false identities to follow targeted individuals without consideration for any clear investigative outcome, or brought corrupt media pundit-types onboard to discredit (or push people into suicide) targets the State seeks to ruin. How do you fight the false accusations of a cyber-bully, who can report any lie from any supposed ‘witness,’ or make up anything they want to support their side of a story?

That problem is exactly why, in the prison systems around the United States over the last century snitches have been treated harshly by their fellow convicts. For decades, when a man is found to be a ‘snitch’ or ‘rat’ in any of the ‘mainline’ prisons in California, if he doesn’t ‘lock it up’ and go into protective custody, he is likely going to get killed. Such men are considered the lowest of the low, and a threat to all of their convict brothers.

Why would the government risk such a controversial ploy, considering the risk involved? In my own case the answer is very simple. There was no evidence that would have done me enough significant legal damage to put me in prison without the use of ‘false’ or incentivized witnesses. And now, when there was the slight chance that through a ‘commutation,’ I might have hoped to have the “Life Without” sentence reduced to a “Life With,” so that I might seek parole at some point, those who seek to keep me in prison forever are more than willing to utilize the use of such people to get enough negative public reaction so that neither a governor nor a judge would dare to sign any such commutation order.

The roots of such an attack can be insidious. In my case, any encounter with entities known to be of extraterrestrial origin is to be considered to be a master of the highest national security and therefore classified ABOVE TOP SECRET. Under no circumstances is the general public or the public press to learn of the existence of these entities, or their interactions with humans. The official government policy is that such creatures do not exist, and that no agency of the Federal Government is now engaged in any study of extraterrestrials or their artifacts, or in any sort of communications with such creatures. Any deviation from this stated policy is absolutely forbidden. (Majestic 12 Group; “Special Operations Manual, SOM1-01 – Extraterrestrial Entities and Technology, Recovery and Disposal,” April 1954, Part 2;

The penalties for disclosing classified information are quite severe. In December 1953, the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued Army-Navy-Air Force publication 146 that made the unauthorized release of information concerning UFOs a crime under the Espionage Act, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. (21st Century Radio’s Hieronimus & Co.; “Transcript of Interview with Bob Dean; March 24, 1996,” found at site: According to Robert Dean, this penalty is what prevented most former members of the military from coming forward to disclose information. (21st Century Radio’s Hieronimus & Co.; “Transcript of Interview with Bob Dean; March 24, 1996,” found at site:

The strategies for dealing with those former servicemen, corporate employees or witnesses brave (or foolish) enough to come forward to reveal classified information is to intimidate, silence, eliminate or discredit these individuals. This policy involves such strategies as removing all public records of former military service personnel or corporate employees, forcing individuals to make retractions, deliberately distorting statements of existing records of individuals, or discrediting the individuals by twisting the truth or making wild accusations. Bob Lazar, for example, claimed to be a former physicist employed with reverse engineering extraterrestrial craft. He described the disappearance of all his university and public records indicating how intelligence agencies actively discredit whistleblowers. (“Bob Lazar on the Billy Goodman Happening”; December 20, 1989; In the well-known witness cases in the field – such as Cooper, Schneider, Lear, Wolf, and myself to name a few – all have been subjected to some or all of these strategies thereby making it difficult for the public to reach firm conclusions about our testimonies. Since the creation of controversy, uncertainty, and confusion is the modus operandi of intelligence agencies in maintaining secrecy of the extraterrestrial presence, then the testimonies of former officials/employees/witnesses need to be considered on their merits. (Salla, Michael; “Eisenhower’s 1954 Meeting with Extraterrestrials – Part 2/2, May 22, 2011 by Steve Beckow;

While issues of credibility, credentials and disinformation are important in the study of the extraterrestrial presence, a rigorous methodology for dealing with the efforts of intelligence agencies to discredit, intimidate, or create controversy around particular witnesses, has yet to be developed. For example, numerous efforts to discredit Cooper in particular by referring to inconsistencies in his statements, retractions, egregious behavior and stated positions. May be due in part or in whole to the policy of intelligence officials to discredit and/or intimidate Cooper from leaking classified information concerning events that he had witnessed in his official capacities. Since Cooper’s military record does indicate that he did serve in an official capacity on the briefing team of the Commander of the Pacific Fleet, it is most likely that much of his testimony is credible. Whatever inaccuracies exist in terms of his recollections of events (like the timing of meetings between the Eisenhower administration and extraterrestrials), may either have been due to understandable memory lapses after the passage of decades, or perhaps deliberately introduced as a self-protective mechanism. It has been pointed out by some “whistleblowers” that making retractions or sowing inaccuracies in testimonies is something essential in disseminating information without being physically harmed. (Salla, Michael; “Disinformation, Extraterrestrial Subversion & Psychological Reductionism – A Reply to Dr. Richard Boylan,” January 7, 2004, found on The controversial Cooper has been subjected to undoubtedly the longest and most intense intelligence efforts to discredit or intimidate any whistleblower revealing classified information; finally including his murder by Federal agents.
What I find fascinating is the way the intensity of the attacks of disinformation and discrediting increase as a person brings more information to the public. If we were crazy fringe lunatics, as some would suggest, then why not just leave us alone and let time silence our foolishness the very vehemence of our attackers would seem to suggest that there is something wrong to what we are trying to tell the public.

Thusly, I consider it something of a compliment and a verification that my efforts in the field have been on the right track. Are the accusations painful and hard to take without reacting? Of course they are. Having my wife accosted in public lectures by some crazed English pervert in bad makeup to disguise himself from the authorities is not something that I am happy about. Having a small number of people from my past come forward to slander and parrot what the New World Order-backed Fake News slime suggests irritates but (like the people themselves) is almost meaningless. My greatest problem in fact is trying to keep a number of my ‘friends’ from protectively over-reacting to the attacks, and thus getting me in more legal trouble for innocent guilt by association. As one snarled recently, “Let’s offer them full disclosure. They may not like our version of it, but they so richly deserve it.”

To be continued…

To Be Attacked by a Cyber-Space Troll, installment two

By Mark Richards, 2019

Studies also have shown that false testimony by witnesses cause more wrongful convictions than the next two leading causes – erroneous identification and false or coerced confessions – combined.

In a study by the University of Alabama psychology department, mock jurors were unable to detect the coercive nature of confession testimony, and more importantly, they gave undue weight to an informant’s confession testimony in determining guilt. The study’s authors concluded that “if jurors cannot perceive the difference between an honest and dishonest cooperating witness there is grave potential for such testimony to lead to wrongful convictions of the innocent.” In stating the obvious, the researchers observed that this creates a “substantial problem for the criminal justice system.”

When an informant’s testimony is the sole evidence to support a conviction or an accusation, “the integrity of the system is at stake,” Natapoff warned. She observed that the U.S. Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993), placed a requirement on the courts to evaluate the reliability of expert witnesses because they can be “both powerful and quite misleading.”  However, there is no such requirement for an incentivized witness testifying about unsubstantiated facts on behalf of the government or some media pundit.

One might remember that an incentivized witness is someone who testifies on behalf of the government or any source of information against another person or group in exchange for an expected benefit.  This benefit may include favorable treatment in the person’s own criminal case, money, protection against the threat of being attacked themselves, or other goods or considerations. This can include so-called “Good Samaritans,” who come forward on their own with information about someone being accused of wrong-doing for no other reason than the public recognition of being one of the voices who helped ‘put that guy away.’

The term “incentivized” means “a motivation or reason for doing something.” Incentives offered to government witnesses have included reduced sentences, cash, a chance to spare friends or family from criminal charges, an early parole, or any other deal the government offers for the witness’ testimony. The term “witness,” also referred to as “informant” in this context, means someone who provides information or testimony in exchange for an incentive. Though not limited to only criminal suspects, by far the most common  government informant is the “jailhouse informant,” who is a person facing criminal charges or serving a prison sentence who wants a reduced sentence or charges dropped in exchange for his information against a fellow prisoner. The State of Alaska, for example, defines “informant” as “someone who provides evidence against someone else for money or to escape or reduce punishment for [their] own misdeeds or crimes.” The labels “incentivized witness” and “informant” are often used interchangeably.  (Quoted by Dale Chappell, in “Government Snitches,” Criminal Legal News, March 2019, page 3.)

The testimony offered by an incentivized witness about what a defendant said or admitted to is called a “secondary confession,” which is defined as “evidence provided by someone other than the suspect and purported to be direct information from the suspect.” It is this secondary confession that’s the product the informant sells and for which the government – or the reporter – barters.

Amazingly, the government knows just how perverse this practice is.  “Informants are not the most reliable people around,” Orange County, California, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told 60 Minutes. When the host asked Rackauckas about a particular informant popular with his office, he said,” I think you should assume you’re talking to an informant. And if he’s talking, he’s probably lying.” Prosecutors know that the product they are buying has defects. So do reporters and other media pundits. The problem is, as long as it helps to prove their side of a case or story, they don’t care.

As we have painfully seen, snitches come in all shapes and sizes, and their various labels come from their position in the grand scheme of the proceedings.

The “jailhouse snitch” is the prototypical incentivized witness who informs law enforcement, prison staff, or the media about what another prisoner has supposedly said or done, usually the result of an overheard conversation or at the snitch’s prodding. This type of informant is often involved in many wrongful convictions, or the original crime that set the story in motion. The “accomplice informant” is the co-defendant of the person the informant is offering information against in an effort to get his own charges dropped or sentence reduced. These informants are commonly used by law enforcement and the media to ensnare others in the supposed scheme, especially the bigger fish.

Interestingly, the Department of Justice does not consider accomplice witnesses as “confidential informants” to which rules governing protection and payments apply. Instead, the government considers these informants “cooperating defendant/witnesses” who have an expectation of a reward for their services. Confidential informants, unlike accomplice witnesses, also do not testify in court in order to protect their identity in future cases.

The “calumniator” has traits of the other types of informants but is distinguished by the desire to shift as much blame as possible onto someone else in order to escape liability. It is not uncommon for the calumniator to place blame on an innocent person, which has resulted in many wrongful convictions, not to mention many innocent people ruined by media that often promotes such calumniators.

Snitches are the leading cause of wrongful convictions in the United States, particularly in capital cases, according to a 2004 Northwestern University study. (Cassidy, Michael R.; “Soft Words of Hope, Giglio, Accomplice Witnesses, and the Problem of Implied Inducements,” Northwest Univ. Law Review 98, ©2003.) Researchers in that study discovered that nearly half of the exonerations involved convictions that were based on snitches. Over 100 of those exonerations were for prisoners on Death Row. Study after study have shown wrongful convictions based on incentivized witnesses is a real problem worth investigation, while the growing problem of innocent people being ruined by the rumor-mill of cyber-space is becoming an epidemic.

Again, one should remember what U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Trott said in his 1996 commentary on incentivized witnesses titled, “Words of Warning for Prosecutors Using Criminals as Witnesses”: “Criminals are likely to say and do almost anything to get what they want, especially when what they want is to get out of trouble with the law.” Not only do incentivized witnesses have the ability to fabricate evidence, they can do so without sparking much suspicion because they know the information they provide is difficult to corroborate or to defend against. Incentivized witnesses can manipulate their version of the facts precisely because they know which facts are verifiable and which are not. The lies by the incentivized witness are difficult to detect, and the listener may infer from the details provided by the witness that the facts are indeed true. And who would know? The prosecutor or media-type wants to believe the witness, and the defense attorney does not believe him, but cannot prove he is lying.

There is also little to no oversight of a prosecutor or media reporter using an incentivized witness. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that prosecutors have “broad” power to administer criminal justice and prosecute (or not) however they see fit. Retired U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson remarked that “judges are in fact not well suited to supervise criminal investigations, a process which is generally best left to the Executive Branch.” This leaves the prosecutors themselves to oversee their use of incentivized witnesses, a plan not without its obvious weaknesses.  There is no watchdog group or authority to keep an eye on the media’s use of such people. Because of an offer of leniency from the prosecutor – often with the help of a media pundit working with the government – the situation offers a powerful incentive to lie.

To be continued…



To Be Attacked by a Cyber-Space Troll

By Mark Richards, 2019

My family and I found ourselves in an unenviable position this winter, as the Fake News pundits set some English cyber bully into full attack mode in our direction. He opened his attack with a series of interviews with some questionably one-sided ‘witnesses.’

It provides an interesting lesson in how the New World Order attacks and destroys people that it considers a threat, and opens up a number of questions concerning how the public needs to react to clean up this growingly dangerous situation.

Every year, innocent people go to prison (or are pushed to suicide) because of ‘informants’ who lie for their own self interests. The problem, studies show, is the fact that this horse trading between the informants and the government – or the media – is largely informal, unregulated, and highly secretive. On top of that, the informants hold all the cards, because they supposedly have valuable information the government wants – no matter if it is true or not.

This motivates some prosecutors or reporters to bend whatever rules there are to get what they want. It becomes even more of a danger when ‘good people’ are convinced to tell only ‘part’ of the truth, thus seeming to add weight to the prosecutor’s or reporter’s version of the story, while avoiding the facts that might have proven the chosen target’s defense. This must change. There has to be meaningful transparency with the government’s – or the media’s – use of ‘incentivized witnesses.’ There must be some way to validate the information offered by an incentivized witness who has every reason to game the system, because the system in place is deeply flawed.

What convicts call ‘snitches’ or ‘rats’ have been around for a long time. A good example is that the American Civil War saw tens of thousands of war prisoners ‘flipping’ in order to gain better treatment by their captors. Some of them gave up information on their friends and their war plans, while others switched allegiance to the side of their captors. Legal commentators say this proves that harsh treatment of prisoners promotes the prisoner’s innate desire to appeal to authorities in power over them to gain more favorable treatment.

Not much has changed in that respect.

The US government’s use of informants became a formal part of law enforcement during the Prohibition ear in the 1920s, when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms switched to using entrapment and informants to catch gun and alcohol smugglers, making snitching an integral part of the criminal justice system. Informant use exploded, however, in the 1970s when President Richard Nixon declared a ‘war on drugs,’ and the government used the same techniques of entrapment and informants to bust suspected drug offenders on a massive scale. Ronald Reagan ramped up the war on drugs by creating harsh mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders, which could be avoided only if the defendants cooperated with the government by snitching on their confederates. The government’s targets weren’t drug kingpins, but low-level grunts who would flip and give law enforcment information on the higher-ups in the organization. Faced sometimes with mandatory life in prison, these low-rung players were forced into a situation where they had no choice but to cooperate, even if it meant they had to make up stories.

Informants have become the ‘tool of choice,’ for law enforcement and the media, especially in conspiracy cases where ‘proof’ can be rather thin. While facts and figures are closely guarded secrets, the limited data that is publicly available about informants show that about 60 percent of drug defendants cooperate in some way in exchange for reduced charges or sentences.

“Often in DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration], you have agents who do little or no follow up,” in drug cases, one prosecutor complained. “So when a cooperator comes and begins to give you information outside of the particular incident, you have no clue if what he says is true,” he said. “It’s bizarre,” another admitted. (Quoted by Dale Chappell in “Government Snitches,” GOVERNMENT LEGAL NEWS, March 2019, page 1)

A major problem is that informants offer information that law enforcement or the media often cannot verify as true. When an informant testifies for the government before a jury or for the media ‘on camera,’ the specific details are usually known only to the informant, which gives the appearance that the informant has ‘inside information.’ This bolsters the informant’s credibility with those listening, and proving that the informant’s information is false is nearly an impossible feat for a defendant.

Government witnesses lying on the stand is nothing new, but it is how and why they lie that has changed. Loyola Law School professor Alexandra Natapoff said in her study, “How Snitches Contribute to Wrongful Convictions,” that prosecutors are heavily invested in the informant’s story to make their case and thus have no real incentive to check a lying informant. The same is true for the average media reporter, pushing for higher ratings far more than the ‘truth.’ This ‘marriage of convenience’ created by the interests of the prosecutor and informant benefits both parties, with an innocent person sometimes going to prison (or being destroyed in the media).

Natapoff also would note that police, prosecutors, and reporters become heavily invested in their informants’ stories and often lack the objectivity needed to step back and see when their sources might be lying. They begin to believe the lies themselves.

To be continued.