NY Court of Appeals Upholds Raphael Golb’s Conviction on 29 of 30 Counts

Still Guilty - Raphael Golb

Dr. Raphael Golb, son of University of Chicago Oriental Institute historian Dr. Norman Golb, was found guilty on 30 felony and misdemeanor counts of identity theft, forgery, criminal impersonation, aggravated harassment, and the unauthorized use of a computer in the Criminal Division of the New York Supreme Court, September 30, 2010. On January 29, 2013, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department upheld the convictions on 29 of 30 counts for which Golb was convicted.

Word from the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department this evening is that a three-judge panel ruled unanimously to uphold the convictions on 29 of 30 felony and misdemeanor counts for which Raphael Golb was convicted in 2010.

In November of 2010, the Criminal Division of the New York Supreme Court found Dr. Raphael Golb, son of University of Chicago Oriental Institute historian Dr. Norman Golb, guilty of 30 felony and misdemeanor counts of identity theft, criminal impersonation, forgery, aggravated harassment, and the unauthorized use of a computer.

Prior to the trial, Golb turned down a plea bargain agreement in which he would have pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, paid a fine, served 80 hours of community service, and been placed on three years probation.

Instead, Golb was convicted of 2 felony counts and 28 misdemeanors, and was sentenced to six months in prison and five years of probation, in addition to incurring the cost of a jury trial defense and an appeal.

The Court of Appeals issued this decision:

People v Golb
2013 NY Slip Op 00436
Decided on January 29, 2013
Appellate Division, First Department
Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.
This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

Decided on January 29, 2013
Mazzarelli, J.P., Renwick, Richter, Gische, Clark, JJ.
9101 2721/09

[*1]The People of the State of New York, Respondent,
v
Raphael Golb, Defendant-Appellant.

Ronald L. Kuby, New York, for appellant.
Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., District Attorney, New York (Vincent
Rivellese of counsel), for respondent.

Judgment, Supreme Court, New York County (Carol Berkman, J.), rendered November 18, 2010, convicting defendant, after a jury trial, of identity theft in the second degree (2 counts), criminal impersonation in the second degree (14 counts), forgery in the third degree (10 counts), aggravated harassment in the second degree (3 counts), and unauthorized use of a computer, and sentencing him to an aggregate term of six months, unanimously modified, on the law and facts, to the extent of vacating the identity theft conviction under the first count of the indictment and dismissing that count, and otherwise affirmed. The matter is remitted to Supreme Court, New York County, for further proceedings pursuant to CPL 460.50(5).

One of the two felony counts was vacated and dismissed, but the Appellate Division unanimously denied Golb’s appeal and reaffirmed the guilty verdict on the other 29 counts, including one felony.

The chart below (updated from the who-is-charles-gadda.com website) lists each charge, conviction, and appellate decision of the convicted felon Raphael Golb.

CHARGE
DATE
CHARGE
SUMMARY
VERDICT (Sept. 30, 2010)
APPEAL DECISION (Jan. 29, 2013)
1. 7/1/2008 – 12/31/2008 PL 190.79(3). Identity theft in the second degree
(E-CLASS FELONY) (1 of 2 counts)
Assumed identity of Lawrence Schiffman and committed/attempted to commit felony of Scheme to Defraud 1st Degree.
GUILTY
Vacated and Dismissed
2. 7/1/2008 – 12/31/2008 PL 190.79(3). Identity theft in the second degree
(E-CLASS FELONY) (2 of 2 counts)
Assumed identity of Lawrence Schiffman and committed/attempted to commit felony of Falsifying Business Records 1st Degree
GUILTY
UPHELD
3. 8/1/2008 – 12/31/2008 PL 240.30(l)(a) Aggravated harassment in the second degree
(1 of 3 counts)
Aggravated harassment of Dr. Lawrence Schiffman
GUILTY
UPHELD
4. 8/3/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(1 of 14 counts)
Created larry.schiffman@gmail.com email account
GUILTY
UPHELD
5. 8/4/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(2 of 14 counts)
Sent email from larry.schiffrnan@gmail.com to Dr. Schiffman’s students
GUILTY
UPHELD
6. 8/4/2008 PL 170.05. Forgery in the third degree
(1 of 10 counts)
Sent email from larry.schiffrnan@gmail.com to Dr. Schiffman’s students
GUILTY
UPHELD
7. 8/5/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(3 of 14 counts)
Sent email from larry.schiffman@gmail.com to multiple NYU email addresses
GUILTY
UPHELD
8. 8/5/2008 PL 170.05. Forgery in the third degree
(2 of 10 counts)
Sent email from larry.schiffman@gmail.com to multiple NYU email addresses
GUILTY
UPHELD
9. 8/5/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(4 of 14 counts)
Sent email from larry.schiffman@gmail.com to NYU Dean Stimpson
GUILTY
UPHELD
10. 8/5/2008 PL 170.05. Forgery in the third degree
(3 of 10 counts)
Sent email from larry.schiffman@gmail.com to NYU Dean Stimpson
GUILTY
UPHELD
11. 8/5/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(5 of 14 counts)
Sent email from larry.schiffman@gmail.com to NYU provost
GUILTY
UPHELD
12. 8/5/2008 PL 170.05. Forgery in the third degree
(4 of 10 counts)
Sent email from larry.schiffman@gmail.com to NYU provost
GUILTY
UPHELD
13. 8/6/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(6 of 14 counts)
Sent email from larry.schiffman@gmail.com to NYUNews.com, forwarding email from Provost office.
GUILTY
UPHELD
14. 8/6/2008 PL 170.05. Forgery in the third degree
(5 of 10 counts)
Sent email from larry.schiffman@gmail.com to NYUNews.com, forwarding email from Provost office.
GUILTY
UPHELD
15. 11/22/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(7 of 14 counts)
Created email account seidel.jonathan@gmail.com
GUILTY
UPHELD
16. 11/22/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(8 of 14 counts)
Sent email from seidel.jonathan@gmail.com to Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
GUILTY
UPHELD
17. 11/22/2008 PL 170.05. Forgery in the third degree
(6 of 10 counts)
Sent email from seidel.jonathan@gmail.com to Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
GUILTY
UPHELD
18. 11/24/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(9 of 14 counts)
Sent email from seidel.jonathan@gmail.com to Risa Kohn (ROM’s curator for Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit)
GUILTY
UPHELD
19. 11/24/2008 PL 170.05. Forgery in the third degree
(7 of 10 counts)
Sent email from seidel.jonathan@gmail.com to Risa Kohn (ROM’s curator for Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit)
GUILTY
UPHELD
20. 11/24/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(10 of 14 counts)
Sent email from seidel.jonathan@gmail.com regarding Norman Golb
GUILTY
UPHELD
21. 11/24/2008 PL 170.05. Forgery in the third degree
(8 of 10 counts)
Sent email from seidel.jonathan@gmail.com regarding Norman Golb
GUILTY
UPHELD
22. 12/6/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(11 of 14 counts)
Sent email from seidel.jonathan@gmail.com regarding Stephen Goranson internet post
GUILTY
UPHELD
23. 12/6/2008 PL 170.05. Forgery in the third degree
(9 of 10 counts)
Sent email from seidel.jonathan@gmail.com regarding Stephen Goranson internet post
GUILTY
UPHELD
24. 7/1/2008 – 12/31/2008 PL240.30(l)(a) Aggravated harassment in the second degree
(2 of 3 counts)
Aggravated Harassment of Stephen Goranson
GUILTY
UPHELD
25. 8/7/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(12 of 14 counts)
Created email account steve.goranson@gmail.com
GUILTY
UPHELD
26. 7/20/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(13 of 14 counts)
Created email account frank.cross2@gmail.com
GUILTY
UPHELD
27. 7/20/2008 PL 190.25(1) Criminal impersonation in the second degree
(14 of 14 counts)
Sent email from frank.cross2@gmail.com regarding Bart Ehrman and the Jewish Museum
GUILTY
UPHELD
28. 7/20/2008 PL 170.05. Forgery in the third degree
(10 of 10 counts)
Sent email from frank.cross2@gmail.com regarding Bart Ehrman and the Jewish Museum
GUILTY
UPHELD
29. 6/1/2007 – 3/1/2009 PL 240.30(l)(a) Aggravated harassment in the second degree
(3 of 3 counts)
Aggravated harassment of Robert Cargill
GUILTY
UPHELD
30. 7/1/2008 – 3/1/2009 PL 156.05 Unauthorized use of a Computer
(1 count)
Unauthorized use of NYU computers to commit criminal offenses and otherwise in violation of NYU computer use policy
GUILTY
UPHELD

The rest of the appellate court’s decision reads as follows:

Defendant’s convictions arise out of his use of emails to impersonate actual persons. Nothing in this prosecution, or in the court’s jury charge, violated defendant’s First Amendment or other constitutional rights.

Defendant is the son of an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Defendant set up email accounts in which he pretended to be other scholars who disagreed with defendant’s father’s opinion on the origin of the Scrolls. Among other things, defendant sent emails in which one of his father’s rivals purportedly admitted to acts of plagiarism.

Defendant’s principal defense was that these emails were only intended to be satiric hoaxes or pranks. However, as it has been observed in the context of trademark law, “[a] parody must convey two simultaneous – and contradictory – messages: that it is the original, but also that it is not the original and is instead a parody” (Cliffs Notes, Inc. v Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, Inc., 886 F2d 490, 494 [2d Cir 1989]). Here, the evidence clearly established that defendant never intended any kind of parody. Instead, he only intended to convey the first message to the readers of the emails, that is, that the purported authors were the actual authors. It was equally clear that defendant intended that the recipients’ reliance on this deception would cause harm to the purported authors and benefits to defendant or his father.

The court’s charge, which incorporated many of defendant’s requests, fully protected his constitutional rights, and the court was not required to grant defendant’s requests for additional instructions. The court carefully informed the jury that academic discussion, parody, satire and the use of pseudonyms were protected by the First Amendment.

The court also ensured that the jury understood the terms “fraud” and “defraud” by [*2]expanding their definition and advised the jury that “without the intent to deceive or defraud as to the source of the speech with the intent to reap a benefit from that deceit, there is no crime.” The court was under no obligation to limit the definitions of “injure” or “defraud” – terms used in the forgery and criminal impersonation statutes – to tangible harms such as financial harm (see People v Kase, 76 AD2d 532, 537-538 [1st Dept 1980], affd 53 NY2d 989 [1981]). The court also properly employed the statutory definition of “benefit” as “any gain or advantage” to defendant or to another person (Penal Law § 10.00[17]).

Defendant argues that it is constitutionally impermissible to include an intent to influence a constitutionally-protected academic debate within the concept of fraud, injury or benefit, that allowing injury to reputation to satisfy the injury element would effectively revive the long-abandoned offense of criminal libel, and that, in any event, the alleged truth of the content of the emails should have been permitted as a defense. However, the evidence established that defendant intended harm that fell within the plain meaning of the term “injure,” and that was not protected by the First Amendment, including damage to the careers and livelihoods of the scholars he impersonated. Defendant also intended to create specific benefits for his father’s career. The fact that the underlying dispute between defendant and his father’s rivals was a constitutionally-protected debate does not provide any First Amendment protection for acts that were otherwise unlawful.

Defendant was not prosecuted for the content of any of the emails, but only for giving the false impression that his victims were the actual authors of the emails. The First Amendment protects the right to criticize another person, but it does not permit anyone to give an intentionally false impression that the source of the message is that other person (see SMJ Group, Inc. v 417 Lafayette Restaurant LLC, 439 F Supp 2d 281 (SD NY 2006]).

We have considered and rejected defendant’s remaining arguments concerning the court’s charge. We similarly reject his claims that the statutes under which he was convicted were unconstitutionally vague or overbroad. None of these statutes was vague or overbroad on its face or as applied (see People v Shack, 86 NY2d 529, 538 [1995]; Broadrick v Oklahoma, 413 US 601, 611-616 [1973]). The People were required to prove that defendant had the specific fraudulent intent to deceive email recipients about his identity, and to obtain benefits or cause injuries as a result of the recipients’ reliance on that deception. The statutes criminalized the act of impersonation and its unlawful intent, not the content of speech falsely imputed to the victims.

The verdict was based on legally sufficient evidence and was not against the weight of the evidence, with the exception of the identity theft conviction under the first count. The theory of that count was that in the commission of identity theft in the second degree (Penal Law § 190.79[3]), defendant attempted to commit the felony of scheme to defraud in the first degree [*3](Penal Law § 190.65[1][b]). However, there was no evidence that defendant intended to defraud one or more persons of property in excess of $1,000 or that he attempted to do so (see id.). The People’s assertions in this regard rest on speculation.

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER
OF THE SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT.

ENTERED: JANUARY 29, 2013

CLERK

(emphases mine)

If Dr. Golb stays true to form, he will almost certainly appeal this again, perhaps in some other jurisdiction. If nothing else, this case has demonstrated that certain people have tremendous difficulty putting down the shovel after digging themselves into a hole.

Still, I am pleased with the court’s decision. While the wheels of justice turn slowly, and afford the guilty every possible avenue of defense, the process has demonstrated that it works in the end.

to trial we go: golb formally refuses plea bargain

Raphael Golb rejects no-jail plea offer in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday.

Raphael Golb rejects no-jail plea offer in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday. Photo by Siegel for News.

laura italiano of the ny post is reporting that plea bargain negotiations between the ny district attorney’s office and a lawyer for raphael golb have broken off without agreement. melissa grace has the story at the new york daily news:

That means the case against Raphael Golb, a real-estate lawyer turned amateur religious scholar, is headed to trial in September.

the case is scheduled for trial beginning september 13, 2010.

Raphael Golb, son of University of Chicago Oriental Institute historian Dr. Norman Golb, is accused of identity theft, forgery, criminal impersonation, unauthorized use of a computer, and aggravated harassment by the state of New York. Plea  bargain negotiations broke down today. The trial is scheduled for September 13, 2010.

Raphael Golb, son of University of Chicago Oriental Institute historian Dr. Norman Golb, is accused of identity theft, forgery, criminal impersonation, unauthorized use of a computer, and aggravated harassment by the state of New York. Plea bargain negotiations broke down today. The trial is scheduled for September 13, 2010. Photo by Steven Hirsch.

according to sources:

They offered the son 80 hours of community service if he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors – and the judge said three years probation would have to be a condition.

Golb turned it down because probation would bar him from contacting his victims – including posting on blogs where the scrolls’ origins are debated.

golb is the son of university of chicago oriental institute historian dr. norman golb. golb is accused of multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of identity theft, forgery, criminal impersonation, unauthorized use of a computer, and aggravated harassment by the state of new york as a result of golb’s involvement with an extensive campaign to smear the perceived rivals of his father. a detailed history and evolution of golb’s campaign against dead sea scrolls scholars, grad students, museums, and universities is chronicled at the who is charles gadda website.

here we go…


for background:

denied! golb case heads to trial

Raphael and Norman Golb

Raphael Golb and his father, University of Chicago historian Dr. Norman Golb. Raphael Golb is charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of forgery, identity theft, impersonation, and aggravated harassment of several Dead Sea Scrolls scholars.

the raphael golb case is headed to trial.

on wednesday, february 24, 2010, judge carol berkman rejected raphael golb’s motions to dismiss the charges against him and rejected his motion to suppress evidence collected from his home and computers during the execution of the search warrant during his arrest.

in fact, not a single one of the 51 felony and misdemeanor counts against golb was dismissed. apparently, the judge in the case did not appreciate or accept golb’s attempt to use the protected speech afforded him in his motions to dismiss the case to further attack scholars he had already smeared in previous attacks, like professor lawrence schiffman of new york university.

this means that the emails sent between raphael golb and his brother, joel golb, his mother, ruth golb, and his father, university of chicago oriental institute historian norman golb, will be on full display for all to read and hear during the trial. some of raphael golb’s email correspondence involved norman golb’s university of chicago ‘n-golb@uchicago.edu‘ work email address. likewise, the development of the entire smear campaign over the past three years can systematically revisited and the coordinated efforts of norman and raphael golb can be demonstrated during the trial.

raphael golb was arrested on march 5, 2009 on multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of identity theft, forgery, criminal impersonation, aggravated harassment, and the unauthorized use of a computer in a bizarre, multi-year attempt to influence an intellectual debate involving his father, norman golb, by creating multiple aliases to smear publicly and even criminally impersonate scholars that disagreed with his father.

the trial date has been set for september 13, 2010. the defense in the case did not want to try the case in march of 2010, nor in july of 2010, but requested the delayed september date. this will place the trial just before the annual meeting of all biblical and jewish studies professors at the society of biblical literature meeting in november, as well as the annual meeting of the american schools of oriental research, a professional meeting of all archaeologists dealing with the near east.

there is always the possibility that raphael golb pleads guilty prior to the trial, but as it now stands, i and several others will begin testifying in the case september 13, 2010.

chicago maroon: e-mails in dead sea scrolls case may implicate prof norman golb

ilana kowarski of the chicago maroon (the university of chicago’s newspaper) has run a new story on the raphael golb / dead sea scrolls / identity theft scandal entitled, ‘e-mails in scrolls case may implicate prof.’ university of chicago oriental institute historian, norman golb, is quoted regarding the arrest and prosecution of his son, raphael golb, on multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of identity theft, forgery, criminal impersonation, the unauthorized use of a computer, and aggravated harassment.

the article states:

Raphael allegedly targeted and harassed intellectuals who disputed his father’s theory that the Dead Sea Scrolls originate in Jerusalem, rather than in Qumran, where the Scrolls were found. He allegedly harassed scholars by disseminating false accusations about them in public blogs and through e-mails to their friends and colleagues. The prosecution wrote that this allegation is supported by e-mails to other members of the family, including Dr. Golb, in a January 19 pre-trial motion.

norman golb responded with a cleverly-worded comment:

Dr. Golb wrote in a statement Friday that the evidence does not prove his involvement.

that is to say, norman golb is not denying that he was involved, but rather is saying that the evidence released in the new york district attorney’s response to his son’s motion to dismiss the charges against him does not prove his involvement.

norman golb’s response is not unlike the response he gave to canada’s national post in response to san diego natural history museum director mick hager, when hager stated:

“It seems curious at best, that untraceable e-mails were sent to the board of directors of the San Diego Natural History Museum prior to the opening of our Dead Sea scrolls exhibition, making unfounded claims and citing Norman Golb as an expert. Even more curious is that the same thing happened in Seattle, Kansas City, Charlotte and now Toronto.”

to this, golb replied via a letter to the editor of canada’s national post:

“I am unaware of any facts supporting these unusual assertions.”

that is to say, golb then did not deny involvement prior to his son’s arrest, but stated that he was ‘unaware of any facts’ to support that allegation. of course, once his son was arrested, the ‘facts supporting these unusual assertions’ were made public via indictments and other publicly available court documents. thus, golb’s statement to the chicago maroon is not a denial, but rather is his understanding of the evidence that will be presented in the coming trial of his son. he feels that the facts/evidence does not prove his involvement. a jury will decide.

likewise, according to the article, norman golb is now claiming that he is the victim in this case:

Dr. Golb suggested Cargill had taken issue with a sour turn in a scholarly debate, leading to the court case. “As the consequence of a long-standing academic dispute, a campaign of personal attacks is now being waged against me and my family. Claimed ‘evidence’ is being grossly distorted for unworthy purposes and removed from context,” Dr. Golb wrote in the statement.

so apparently, as long as one is on the offensive attacking other scholars behind a veil on anonymity, it is a legitimate endeavor. but, as soon as the curtain is pulled back and the true identity of those behind the green curtain is exposed, and the perpetrators are rightly prosecuted for their alleged crimes, this is a personal attack.  this is a victim mentality at it’s finest. go figure.

norman golb also stated:

“It is perfectly normal for any academic family to express indignation in the case of its members being silenced, excluded, and misrepresented or, to all appearances, plagiarized. In the present case, fair-minded people with knowledge of the circumstances will quite readily come to understand who the victims and the victimizers are.”

again, golb is apparently attempting to frame his son’s defense about his ongoing claim that he and his views have been unfairly ‘silenced, excluded, and misrepresented or, to all appearances, plagiarized,’ and not about the crimes allegedly committed by his son, raphael, in this specific case. it appears as if golb is either attempting to justify his and his son’s actions as just retaliation for the treatment he believes he has received over the past few decades, or, that he is attempting to divert attention from the criminal charges in the case against his son by arguing the defense one might expect in a civil suit against him, his sons, and his employer, the university of chicago.

it is also interesting to note that this is the first time (that i can recall) that norman golb himself suggests that he has been ‘to all appearances, plagiarized.’ his son accused someone of it, but this is the first time i’ve seen norman golb himself use the word in this case.

i replied in the article:

“A little professional jealousy can be a powerful motivator for scholars, encouraging them to focus on their work and produce new and better scholarship. However, when this jealousy, greed, or malice reaches a point where an individual is furtively, yet tenaciously and ubiquitously attempting to smear another scholar to the extent that Raphael Golb and perhaps members of his family are alleged to have done, it runs the danger of crossing into civilly actionable and even criminally actionable activity,” Cargill said in an e-mail interview.

the article also mentions one of the most implicating emails in the scandal:

The court documents allege Raphael sent e-mails to his brother and mother from alias accounts, including one dated July 24, 2008, that says, “By the way, if Dad has some comment on the latest Charles Gadda [an alleged alias of Raphael’s] exchange, he can send it through your e-mail, that way there would be no trace of it in his account.”

the full extent of the publicly available evidence against golb is available here and here.


interestingly, the article did not include some of the answers i gave in response to questions asked by the article’s author regarding the case.

i was asked about our notifying the oriental institute and university of chicago administrators about norman golb’s activities. specifically, i was asked about an exchange of letters between me and oi administrators and the university’s general counsel. the questions and answers were as follows:

>>When were letters sent to the Oriental Institute?

we first contacted the oi about norman golb in late in 2007. beyond that, i have no comment.

>>What did those letters say?

out of respect for the private correspondence between us and the oi, i shall not divulge the contents of the email.

>>To your knowledge, did the Oriental Institute take any action as a result of this correspondence?

i have no knowledge of whether or not the oi or the university of chicago have opened an ethical misconduct investigation or a criminal activity investigation into the actions of norman golb.

shortly after our exchange of letters in feb. 2009, the oi promptly removed a document dr. golb had written about me from the oi website. a few weeks later, raphael golb was arrested.

(the oi’s announcement noting the removal of the document is here: http://oi.uchicago.edu/pdf/san_diego_virtual_reality_2007.pdf)

>>If the allegations against Raphael Golb are true, do you think Prof. Golb or the University of Chicago are at all responsible for the alleged crimes?

no comment.

court docs detail raphael golb’s harassment of robert cargill

Raphael Golb

Raphael Golb is accused of multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of forgery, identity theft, impersonation, and aggravated harassment.

on march 5, 2009, raphael golb, son of university of chicago oriental insitute historian norman golb, was arrested on 51 felony and misdemeanor counts of identity theft, forgery, criminal impersonation, aggravated harassment, and the unauthorized use of a computer. golb’s arrest set in motion a bizarre and twisted path towards his trial, complete with motions to dismiss the charges, motions to suppress evidence seized during his arrest, and the use of these very motions to further attack his victims with the verbatim claims made by the very aliases he still refuses to admit being. golb claims his impersonation, forgery, and identity theft amount to nothing more than ‘satire’ and ‘free speech,’ but yet is not confident enough in his own defense to admit that he made the very ‘speech’ in question.

but for many of us, raphael golb’s arrest only marked the latest phase of a three-year old investigation into his identity and activity. the passing of time may have caused many to forget just what the golbs did that led to this point. additionally, many never really knew much of what the golbs were doing furtively, behind the scenes, to harass and intimidate their victims. everyone could read ‘charles gadda’s’ posts on the internet, but because i did not discuss the case publicly prior to golb’s arrest, many are unaware of the actions taken by raphael, joel, and norman golb behind the scenes to damage their victims, including me.

recent filings in the case of the people of the state of new york v. raphael golb have made public some disturbing emails and other communications sent by the golbs to one another detailing how they should harass and intimidate me and effectively “ruin my career.” i knew that some of this was going on, but prior to the hard evidence provided by the new york district attorney’s office in publicly available court documents, i had no idea the extent to which the golbs were determined to damage my career and me personally.

below are some excerpts from a recent court filing detailing emails sent between norman golb’s sons, raphael and joel, detailing their motives and intent to ‘harass and unsettle’ me, and to explicitly damage my career.


Excerpts from

AFFIRMATION IN RESPONSE
TO THE DEFENDANT’S
MOTIONS TO DISMISS,
MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE
RECOVERED VIA SEARCH
WARRANT, AND REQUEST FOR AN ADVISORY
OPINION
Indictment No. 2721/2009

(pdf)

66. Defendant’s animosity towards victim Dr. Cargill also bears an eerie parallel to the Wise incident. Robert Cargill was working on his Ph.D. when he was the subject of an anonymous smear campaign by the Golb/Gadda aliases that lasted over a year. Much of this smear campaign seemed designed to prevent him from getting his Ph.D. Thus, Dr. Cargill was at a crucial phase in his academic career (working on a Ph.D.), just as Dr. Wise was at a crucial phase in his career some twenty years prior, with respect to tenure. Also, defendant’s harassment of Dr. Cargill included insinuations that he had copied another’s work.

Defendant’s intent to harass Dr. Cargill is evidenced within email communications:

78. The harassment count as to Dr. Cargill differs from the harassment counts as to Drs. Schiffman and Goranson, because the defendant did not impersonate Dr. Cargill. Since the defendant did impersonate Drs. Schiffman and Goranson, it is reasonable to infer that one motivation for the impersonation was to harass them. With respect to defendant’s actions towards Dr. Cargill, email evidence assists in showing the defendant’s intent to harass Dr. Cargill. For example, on January 19, 2008, there is an email discussion between Golb/Gadda alias Robert Dworkin and his brother Joel Golb, about a proposed email to Professor Carter, Chair of the UCLA department in which Robert Cargill and his Ph.D. advisor Dr. Schniedewind worked. Joel Golb takes issue with some proposed language that reads “…my intent in writing to you has not been to harm Mr. Cargill’s academic career prospects”. Joel Golb writes: “Clearly, for all who read this, one of the purposes of Dworkin’s devastating letter will be, precisely, to destroy the career prospects of a really nice guy” [emphasis added].

79. Further discussion regarding a similar proposed email to Professor Carter took place on March 13, 2008. On March 13,2008, Joel Golb writes that he approves of the proposed email, and writes that it “will merely serve to harass and unsettle a bit… ” (emphasis added).

80. On March 15, 2008, in an email between Joel Golb and Golb/Gadda alias Jesse Friedman, about Drs. Cargill and Schniedewind, Joel Golb indicates the possibility that “both their careers may well be ruined.”

81. Multiple emails were indeed sent to Professor Carter from Golb/Gadda aliases complaining about Dr. Cargill and his Ph.D. project. Dr. Cargill’s apparent Christian background is attacked, and he is even accused of copying someone else’s work. On January 18, 2008, and several times thereafter, emails were sent to Professor Carter and multiple other UCLA email accounts from Golb/Gadda alias Don Matthews. On February 8, 2008, and several times thereafter, emails were sent to Professor Carter from Golb/Gadda alias Emily Kaufman, with multiple UCLA employees copied. On February 9, 2008, and at least one time thereafter, emails were sent to Professor Carter from Golb/Gadda alias Steve Frankel, with multiple UCLA employees copied. On March 19, 2008, an email was sent to Professor Carter from Golb/Gadda alias Joshua Reznick, with multiple UCLA employees copied.

82. From the period of June 2007 to June 2009, Golb/Gadda aliases Steve Frankel, Carlo Gadda, Don Matthews, David Kaplan, Emily Kaufman, Jesse Friedman, and Robert Dworkin sent dozens of emails to hundreds of “ucla.edu” recipients, as well as other individuals, all attacking Dr. Cargill. The volume of defendant’s alias creation, and his planning with others, speaks to the deliberate intent in conducting defendant’s operation.

83. Defendant’s pattern of conduct, and surrounding facts, further indicate that defendant’s motives were less than innocent. For example, the campaign surrounding Dr. Schiffman was clearly designed to damage his career based upon the content. The impersonating emails crafted by the defendant even specifically indicated that Dr. Schiffman’s career was “at stake”. Such conduct as to Dr. Schiffman is relevant as to defendant’s intent as to Dr. Cargill.

84. As previously indicated, there is no legal requirement that harassing communication must be made directly to the victim. In fact, it is apparent that this type of harassment, when made indirectly to the victim through dozens of communications with hundreds of the victim’s colleagues, can be more harassing than direct communication with the victim. Defendant knew that these emails would ultimately affect Cargill in a manner designed to harass and alarm him. In fact, sending emails to third parties is more offensive than sending emails directly to Dr. Cargill. If Dr. Cargill received direct harassing emails from any of defendant’s dozens of aliases, he could simply delete the email, and block each successive sock puppet email account. It would be easier for Dr. Cargill to block the email accounts than it would be for the defendant to keep creating new accounts. However, Dr. Cargill cannot block or delete emails sent to dozens or hundreds of his associates. Rather, he is forced to field question after question from others about the negative content of the emails. Notably, this pattern of attack was taking place at a crucial period during Dr. Cargill’s academic career, and it attacked the basis of Dr. Cargill’s Ph.D. project.

85. In sum, the inference from the totality of defendant’s conduct is that the defendant maliciously spread false information with the intent to harass, annoy, alarm, defraud, deceive, and injure.

=== END TRANSCRIPT ===


the above speaks to the specific motive and intent to do harm to me and damage my career. in fact, the intent to do damage is quite explicit. after living through that experience, and after coupling golb’s sons’ activities with the signed letters from the hand of norman golb, it appears that they were all in it together. dr. golb would write formal letters of complaint and appear above the fray, while the sons would attack me relentlessly online using aliases in coordination with norman golb.

having contacted the director of the oriental institute directly, and having corresponded with the general counsel‘s office of the university of chicago about dr. golb’s activities, and with no real action being taken to investigate norman golb’s ethical and professional behavior in this matter, i must assume that the university of chicago has full knowledge of these proceedings, and is tacitly endorsing them. either that, or they are culpable of negligence in this matter, in that they have as of yet taken no action to stop golb, or even to investigate the matter.

again i must ask: is this the kind of behavior tolerated or promoted by the oriental institute? by the university of chicago?

the bigger question is: are the premeditated and well-coordinated deeds of norman golb and his sons actionable in civil court?

bombshell: ny da’s response to raphael golb’s motion to dismiss charges and suppress evidence

Raphael and Norman Golb

Raphael Golb and his father, University of Chicago historian Dr. Norman Golb. Raphael Golb is charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of forgery, identity theft, impersonation, and aggravated harassment of several Dead Sea Scrolls scholars.

court docs allege:
norman golb knew about the smear campaign!

court docs also allege:
norman golb participated in the smear campaign against other scholars.

in fact, according to email transcripts contained in the january 19, 2010 new york district attorney’s response to raphael golb’s motion to dismiss all charges and suppress evidence, norman golb actively participated in the smear campaign against fellow dead sea scrolls scholars by providing phone call and email talking points.

court documents show that norman golb’s other son, joel, was involved as well.

in fact, according to court docs, norman golb’s wife, ruth, was involved too. norman golb went so far as to use his wife ruth’s email account to disguise his involvement in the event that his email was ever compromised.

the smear campaign was a golb family affair! (based upon evidence in court docs)

for those interested in this seemingly never-ending scandal, the new york district attorney prosecuting the case against raphael golb has responded to golb’s motions to dismiss. it is now posted online. (these docs are publicly available.) raphael golb, son of university of chicago oriental institute historian norman golb, stands accused of 51 counts of criminal impersonation, identity theft, forgery, aggravated harassment, and unauthorized use of a computer. a full account of the scandal can be found at http://www.who-is-charles-gadda.com.

below are excerpts from the:

AFFIRMATION IN RESPONSE TO THE DEFENDANT’S MOTIONS TO DISMISS, MOTION TO SUPPRESS EVIDENCE RECOVERED VIA SEARCH WARRANT, AND REQUEST FOR AN ADVISORY OPINION

note in particular, exhibit c (transcribed below), which gives only some of the email evidence the new york district attorney’s office used to bring charges against raphael golb.

key lines to watch for:

“By the way, if Dad has some comment on the latest Charles Gadda exchange, he can send it through your email, that way there would be no trace of it in his account.” – Raphael Golb

“…they know Gadda is Golb’s son, meaning they are faced with a dedicated, in-the-know adversary who is out to get them, and there’s simply nothing they can do about it.” – Raphael Golb

“we can’t send via Dad’s email so we’ll send via mine” – Ruth Golb (Norman Golb’s Wife, Raphael Golb’s Mother)

“Dad thinks that if Crawford was invited it’s because she’s Frank Cross’s student and someone must have been in back of it since she’s the least competent of all of them.” – Ruth Golb

“… Mom and I also found of interest the latest item you sent us, i.e. the one from the writer living in Raleigh (or thereabouts). The recent blogs by Dworkin et al. are obviously having effect,” – Norman Golb

“Schiffman is such a sleaze and behaves as though he has nothing to fear -this makes sense to me. Love, Mom” – Ruth Golb

“Would you like me to inform them using an alias, or do you prefer to contact them yourself?” – Raphael Golb to Norman Golb

“your contribution was posted 2 minutes after my own posting–wouldn’t it have been better to wait a while to avoid the impression that we are collaborating or are indeed one and the same person?” – Joel Golb to Raphael Golb

“I really don’t think I ruined anything by coming on — the tone of my thing was quite different from yours, along with links. It’s part of Gadda’s persona to always come on late at night with jabs at these people, quoting the New York Times and similar sources. Why shouldn’t he have picked up on Ignorant Gnostic’s statement?” – Raphael Golb in response to Joel Golb

…. So I think Dworkin should be extremely careful to make sure the mail is totally untraceable–even going so far as to mail from an internet cafe–and it might actually be time in the next few weeks to simply throw out his old computer and replace it with one of those extremely inexpensive PCs one can now get… – Joel Golb to Raphael Golb alias “Robert Dworkin”


EXHIBIT C

Summary of, and Excerpts of,
Certain Email Communications

These emails are provided to help demonstrate defendant’s intent and motive.

EMAILS BETWEEN THE GOLBS CONCERNING THE UPCOMING JEWISH MUSEUM EXHIBIT, THAT ASSIST IN DEMONSTRATING DEFENDANT’S INTENT AND MOTIVE REGARDING HIS SUBSEQUENT IMPERSONATION OF DR. SCHIFFMAN

On July 24, 2008 at 11:57 PM Raphael Golb (raphael.g@mindspring.com) wrote to Ruth Golb (ruthgolb@gmail.com), his mother:

… I saw Dan F. today. Unfortunately, he’s probably not going to be able to accomplish anything [at the Jewish Museum]… Thus, he has no influence over them. He does, however, know the curator (Susan Braunstein), and will speak to her about it (but she might be on vacation). She will probably resist, however, and then he will be able to do nothing.

This makes it all the more important that Dad try and do something about this via Benny Kedar. There is no shame in asking to see the list of lecturers (“Look, I don’t want to tell you who to invite and not to invite, but I would be curious to see who you have invited”) and pointing out that they could have had the courtesy to invite him, after everything he has done to help them improve the exhibits.

By the way, if Dad has some comment on the latest Charles Gadda exchange, he can send it through your email, that way there would be no trace of it in his account. [emphasis added]

Raph

On July 26, 2008, Raphael Golb (raphael.g@mindspring.com) wrote:

… what must be truly maddening to them is that they know Gadda is Golb’s son, meaning they are faced with a dedicated, in-the-know adversary who is out to get them, and there’s simply nothing they can do about it. I believe the blogging campaign has put pressure on them and possibly contributed to what we are seeing now with the Jewish Museum. [emphasis added]

On July 28, 2008, at 9:32am, Raphael Golb (raphael.g@mindspring.com) emailed Dr. Norman Golb (n-golb@uchicago.edu) a link to a Nowpublic blog by Gadda concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Jewish Museum, with subject “new nowpublic item on new york exhibit” and text “Dad — there’s a new article out by Gadda — http://www.nowpublic.com/culture/dead-sea-scrolls-coming-new-york”

On July 28, 2008, at 2:56pm, Ruth Golb emailed Raphael Golb and indicated “we can’t send via Dad’s email so we’ll send via mine”

On July 30, 2008, at 2:08pm, Raphael Golb emailed his family with a proposed email to be sent to Susan Braunstein, curator of the Jewish Museum.

On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 2:08 PM, wrote:
Mom, Dad, Joel,
how about this:
Dear Ms. Braunstein,
I am the son of Norman Golb (author of Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?).
I live in New York, and I have heard that an exhibit of the scrolls will soon be opening at the Jewish Museum. If you can spare a moment one afternoon, I would greatly appreciate having the opportunity to meet you; I have some information on recent developments that could be of interest to you.
Raphael Golb, Ph.D.

On July 30,2008, at 3:16pm, Ruth Golb responded:

“No, no, no for a few reasons. But let Dad write to B. K. tomorrow. ” [indicating Benny Kedar]

On July 30, 2008, at 3:46pm, Raphael Golb responded:

Okay, but we are very quickly running out of time on this one. [emphasis added] New York is far away from Jerusalem and I suspect it is not a primary concern of Benny Kedar’s. Incidentally, is Dad on good terms with anyone at the Jewish Theological Seminary?

In Dad’s letter, he should perhaps point out that the Jewish Museum is one of Judaism’s most prominent cultural institutions (hinting that its reputation is at stake), and ask if Katz will be taking steps to ensure that the decisions taken at the meeting will be concretely applied to the exhibit there.

On July 30, 2008, at 4:07pm, Raphael Golb wrote to Ruth Golb:[,]

I just called Dan about this and he immediately said there was no way Braunstein would ever meet with me, because she’s a “big shot.” He insisted that she must indeed be “au courant” because she is very clever, and that nothing he tells her will make any difference anyway because she will simply do what she wants. (Meanwhile, she has not returned his calls, because she must be busy setting up the exhibit and she probably assumes that he is just calling her for social reasons.)

My conclusion: the only way of getting through to her would be to directly inform her of the meeting. Ideally, Benny Kedar would call her himself, but again, I can understand Dad’s reluctance to be pushy. The only realistic possibility is for Kedar to instruct Katz to call Braunstein with a request that the additional information be added to the exhibit.

On July 30, 2008, at 6:18pm, Raphael Golb wrote to Ruth Golb:

I just spoke with Dan R; I could tell that basically he didn’t have the courage to ask Braunstein to invite Dad; he kept suggesting that I come to the lectures and ask questions afterwards to rebut the speakers; when I explained why that wouldn’t work, he suggested that Dad himself show up at Schiffman’s lecture (at Dan F.’s expense, hotel and everything); when I explained why Dad wouldn’t do that, he suggested that Dad write to Braunstein, pointing out that the speakers are not balanced and that he would be willing to give a talk at his own expense to rebut them…

On July 30, 2008, at 9:04pm, Ruth Golb wrote Raphael Golb:

Dad thinks that if Crawford was invited it’s because she’s Frank Cross’s student and someone must have been in back of it since she’s the least competent of all of them.

Now, if Dad is to use the Schiffman thing, he needs the exact quote of Schiffman’s and page number. Dad doesn’t have a copy of the book here.

The following email thread indicates the Golbs’ interest in who was speaking at the Jewish Museum, and refers to the fact that Dr. Schuller and Dr. Crawford were both students of Dr. Frank Cross.

On July 31,2008 Raphael Golb wrote Ruth Golb and wrote:

I doubt if this has anything to do with Cross — it could easily have come from the usual Katz recommended list, and simply result from the fact that Braunstein is a woman and that the idea of the lecture (“Women at Qumran”) seemed interesting and different to her — something that would interest the audience.

On July 31, 2008, Ruth Golb wrote to Raphael Golb:

Poor Dan. He means well, but the politics of this is beyond him. His suggestions would not be appropriate, of course.
Dad thinks that if Crawford was invited it’s because she’s Frank Cross’s student and someone must have been in back of it since she’s the least competent of all of them. Now, if Dad is to use the Schiffman thing, he needs the exact quote of Schiffman’s and page number. Dad doesn’t have a copy of the book here.
Mom

On August 05, 2008, 12:39am, Raphael Golb Wrote to Norman Golb under subject “schuller — harvard”:

Ph.d. Harvard, student of Cross just like the other one.

On August 06, 2008, 7:06pm, Raphael Golb wrote to Norman Golb:

Dad –
You will be amused to learn that the announcement of Schuller’s lecture has disappeared from the Jewish Museum website, at least for now. I have a feeling they have decided to try and keep it a secret for as long as possible…
Raph

On August 10,2008, at 1:10am, Norman Golb wrote to Raphael Golb:

… Mom and I also found of interest the latest item you sent us, i.e. the one from the writer living in Raleigh (or thereabouts). The recent blogs by Dworkin et al. are obviously having effect,

On August 10, 2008, 1:32am, Raphael Golb wrote to Norman Golb:


Would you like me to inform them using an alias, or do you prefer to contact them yourself? I’m sure they will ignore this anyway (perhaps not Orion, but the others certainly will).

On August 4, 2008, Raphael Golb wrote (apparently to Ruth Golb):

I was wrong in my assumption about the woman lecturer — it is Eileen Marie Schuller, Professor, Department of Religious Studies, McMaster University — no doubt just as bad as the other one, but nonetheless not the same.

Raph

On Mon, Aug 11,2008 Ruth Golb wrote to Raphael Golb:

Hi Raph,
Dad is still sleeping but I think you’re on to something here. Schiffman is such a sleaze and behaves as though he has nothing to fear -this makes sense to me.
Love,
Mom

On August 14, 2008, Raphael Golb wrote to Ruth Golb:

Okay — we absolutely need to speak on the phone before Dad gives his lecture. Weston Fields responded to Friedman with a “thank you very much for this information!” note. I have a hunch Fields and Broshi might try and set him up, with people here and there in the audience shouting out things like “why don’t you write a Nowpublic article on that, or will you have your son do it for you?” to try and rattle him. He needs to be very seriously prepared for that sort of thing — he should write down a few notes on what to say if that should happen, and bring them along with the text of the lecture so that he doesn’t feel caught off guard. (Possible responses: “you think I care about internet junk? I don’t know which of my sons you’re referring to, but they both have jobs, and if they chat on-line, they’re entitled to their opinion. now are you going to keep interrupting my talk, or can we go on?”) He must also prepare himself for a more “scientific” set up, people here and there in the audience attempting to point out every little weakness they can find.

EMAILS AMONG THE GOLBS THAT DEMONSTRATE COORDINATION OF DEFENDANT’S SOCK PUPPET ACTIVITIES AND MAINTAINING ANONYMITY, WHICH ASSIST IN DEMONSTRATING DEFENDANT’S INTENT AND MOTIVE

On July 2, 2008, Golb/Gadda alias Jesse Friedman wrote to Joel Golb (j.golb@snafu.de)

I am sorry — I forgot to “activate” the phillipcoleman@yahoo.com account yesterday — mea culpa. Try again on the site, I think it will work now. Phillip_Coleman.

Where they ask you for your city and phone number, try Philadelphia, 19134 is zipcode and invent a phone number — area code is 215. You can always be on vacation if they inquire (but so far none of my aliases have received the slightest hint of attention).

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1123440.html

You should also try posting on the other site again. The woman has returned from vacation, and look how she has updated her original posting! — with a quote from the latest comment by “Dead Sea Scrolls student”…

http ://blog.news-record.com/staff/frontpew/archives/2008/06/dead_sea_scroll.shtml

On August 3, 2007, defendant (using personal email account raphael.g@mindspring.com) emailed Joel Golb and wrote:

I see you called–was at the library all day–Gadda has now published a definitive attack against these people–please let me know if you see any typos, etc., I will pass the info on to him if I see him–

http://www.nowpublic.com/christian_fundamentalism_and_dead_sea_scrolls_san_diego

On Jul 25, 2008, 5:54am, Joel Golb wrote to Raphael Golb:

your contribution was posted 2 minutes after my own posting–wouldn’t it have been better to wait a while to avoid the impression that we are collaborating or are indeed one and the same person? You want me to help on this–then please preserve Gnostic’s outward integrity as an independent contributor

On July 25, 2008, 11:27am, Raphael Golb wrote to Joel Golb:

Relax — it would have been unusual if I hadn’t posted anything — they would have started insinuating I was using another alias.

2 minutes — actually it was more like an hour or two, but if it says 2 minutes that’s good — how can I be in two places at the same time?

On July 25, 2008, 4:58pm, Raphael Golb wrote to Joel Golb:

I’m just getting home from stuff. From your exchange with Dad, I see that he apparently didn’t get my other emails which would explain why he never got back to me.

I really don’t think I ruined anything by coming on — the tone of my thing was quite different from yours, along with links. It’s part of Gadda’s persona to always come on late at night with jabs at these people, quoting the New York Times and similar sources. Why shouldn’t he have picked up on Ignorant Gnostic’s statement?

The following emails further demonstrate the coordination between Raphael and Joel Golb, and confusion about the volume of anonymous blogs:

On September 17, 2008, 12:55pm, Joel Golb emailed Raphael Golb:

there has been a new comment added to the Now Public site….

Raphael Golb responded with:

which article, the plagiarism thing? let them fight it out, whether someone plagiarized dad isn’t my concern, i am focused on the institutional problem, i’m around now if you can call.

On Sep 18, 2008, at 2:43am, Joel Golb wrote to Raphael Golb:

the Now Public article

On September 18, 2008, 2:45am, Raphael Golb responded to Joel Golb and stated:

look, i don’t know which article you’re talking about, there are nine of them — just give me a call, i need to tell you something anyway

A June 17, 2008 email from j.friedman47@gmail.com (a Golb/Gadda alias) to j.golb@snafu.de (the email account of Joel Golb in Germany) indicates discussion about the use of proxies, and discusses a Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit that was opening in North Carolina. The use of an internet proxy is a method of disguising one’s internet protocol address, the identifier that indicates which computer is accessing a computer at a given place and time.

“they are clearly accepting messages submitted through proxies, it must be some kind of glitch in their system — we are now up to 17 comments (see latest by sandy greenberg and martin elderling)…”

A November 4, 2007 email between robertdworkin@gmail.com (a Golb/Gadda alias) and j.golb@snafu.de (the email account of Joel Golb) contains discussion about an outline to use concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls, with the subject “scrap last outline–use this instead (dad phoned with some suggestions)”. This email implies that Norman Golb called Joel Golb, gave suggestions to the outline, which Joel Golb passed on to Raphael Golb in this email. This also implies that both Joel Golb and Norman Golb know that Raphael Golb is using at least some internet aliases.

A January 18, 2008 email between robertdworkin@gmail.com (an alias of Raphael Golb) and j.golb@snafu.de (the email account of Joel Golb) discusses keeping emails anonymous and untraceable, and some confusion about which alias will be used to send emails from NYU computers.

Subject: Re: revised version
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 05:38:23 +0100
From: Joel Golb <j.golb@snafu.de>
To: robert dworkin <robertdworkin@gmail.com>

…. So I think Dworkin should be extremely careful to make sure the mail is totally untraceable–even going so far as to mail from an internet cafe–and it might actually be time in the next few weeks to simply throw out his old computer and replace it with one of those extremely inexpensive PCs one can now get…

There is email correspondence between Raphael Golb’s alias accounts and Dr. Golb, however it never overtly acknowledges a partnership. However Raphael Golb alias accounts have forwarded to Dr. Norman Golb email exchanges that the alias account (or another alias account) had with third parties. For example:

On August 15, 2007, email account robert.dwokin@gmail.com (a Golb/Gadda alias) sent email account n-golb@uchicago.edu (email account of Dr. Norman Golb) an email that forwarded a communication between robertdworkin@gmail.com and an employee at the LA Times concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls.

On March 31, 2008, email account joshua.reznick@yahoo.com (a Golb/Gadda alias) sent three successive emails to email account n-golb@uchicago.edu (email account of Dr. Norman Golb). These three successive emails appear to be revisions of the prior emails, and while formal in tone, the successive emails do not reference the preceding emails. In other words, if they did not know each other well, one would expect some sort of acknowledgment or apology for sending successive similar emails. These March 31, 2008 emails invite Dr. Norman Golb to correspond with the individual that email account joshua.reznick@yahoo.com had been corresponding with, and includes a copy of the prior correspondence. It is reasonable to infer that the successive emails represent successive revisions, with the final version being what Dr. Norman Golb would show to the person that the Golb/Gadda had been corresponding with.

On July 15, 2008, email account j.friedman47@gmail.com (a Golb/Gadda alias) sent email account n-golb@uchicago.edu (email account of Dr. Norman Golb) an email that forwarded a communication between jerome.cooper2@gmail.com (another alias of Raphael Golb) and a professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill regarding the Dead Sea Scrolls.

On December 16,2008, defendant (using email address raphael.g@mindspring.com) emailed Dr. Golb (at n-golb@uchicago.edu) under the subject line “Canadian Jewish academic site links museum controversy”

http://www.cijr.com/Israzine/israzine_Home.htm

You will see that they make a mistake (referring to you several times as “Norman Golb and Ludwig Rosenberger”) to which I believe someone has alerted them in case they can (or desire) to change it. Nonetheless, this arguably puts greater pressure on the museum. Notice that they have also linked one of Gadda’s articles

=== END TRANSCRIPT ===


the evidence is compelling.

but given this new evidence, we must also ask:

  • has the university of chicago opened an ethics investigation into the behavior of norman golb?
  • is this the kind of professional behavior encouraged and endorsed by the university of chicago?
  • if it can be shown that letters were sent to university of chicago administrators bringing this matter of golb’s actions to their attention, and they did not act and failed to investigate golb, is the university complicit, either via negligence or tacit endorsement, in golb’s activity?
  • given this new evidence, will the university of chicago open an ethics investigation into the activities of norman golb?

more to follow soon…

now where have i seen this before? using aliases to support or attack an idea

Sabrina Eaton

Sabrina Eaton of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

‘ellie light’ is the pseudonym used by someone who loves and supports president obama. according to several news agencies, ‘ellie’ has been sending letters to the editors of various news outlets supporting the president and bashing the media for daring to criticize him. one editor, sabrina eaton of the cleveland plain dealer, bagan to notice that the same letter, often word for word, was sent to different papers by the same alias, ‘ellie light,’ but stating different local addresses within the expected readership of each of the papers. when eaton wrote a story about the phenomenon and exposed the alias, ‘ellie’ wrote in response continuing to bash the press coverage of president obama, but never answering eaton’s questions of ‘ellie’s’ identity. for instance, eaton asked ‘ellie':

But why did all those letters say you lived in all those different places? It seems quite peculiar.

and

This email of yours has apparently been published in scads of newspapers. Each of them lists you as residing in their circulation area. How can you simultaneously reside in Kellogg (Michigan), Midland (Michigan), Follansbee (W.Va.), Myrtle Beach (S.C), Waynesboro (Va), Vallejo (Ca.), Mansfield (OH), Salinas (Ca), and Three Rivers (N.M.)? I also found your Haiti email printed in the paper in Lebanon, (PA). That one claimed you reside in Cornwall.

How did your missive end up in all these different publications, citing all these different residences for you? Where do you actually live? What do you actually do for a living? Are you sending these emails at the behest of any organization or politician? Are you the same Ellie Light who was once a reporter for the Bergen Record? Please respond ASAP because I plan to write about this.

Sincerely,
Sabrina Eaton
Plain Dealer, DC Bureau

‘ellie’ did respond, but answered none of eaton’s questions about her identity. and this reminded me of something very similar that has been taking place for the past three years with regard to the dead sea scrolls: the case of ‘charles gadda’ and raphael golb, who is under indictment in new york for, among other things, forgery, aggravated harassment, identity theft, and criminal impersonation, all stemming from a letter writing campaign used to promote a certain view of the origin of the dead sea scrolls and to attack scholars that disagree.

it is, of course, not illegal to pose as a different person and send the same letter to a bunch of different newspapers online. but when one is exposed as being deceptive online and attempting to use aliases to feign the appearance of widespread support or outrage, it makes the cause for which one is advocating appear weak. in fact, appearing to require a bunch of aliases to write scathing letters to press agencies with the hopes of drumming up some invented controversy in support of a cause makes the entire cause look so weak, it’s embarrassing. is it illegal? no. but it makes the one for whom you are advocating (in this case president obama) look like he needs to depend on fake supporters to prop up his ideas.

however, what is illegal would be the following hypothetical situation: the person behind ‘ellie light’ writes an article accusing sabrina eaton of plagiarizing ‘ellie light’s’ real-life father. then, ‘ellie light’ takes out a gmail address in the name of sabrina.eaton (at) gmail.com and proceeds to email the real sabrina eaton drawing her attention to the false article. when eaton does not respond, the alias emails sabrina eaton’s colleagues and, in the first person singular, admits to the false plagiarism that ‘ellie light’ originally posted in the internet. because gmail, yahoo, and other private email providers are commonly used as alternative personal email addresses for professionals who are required to use their corporate email addresses for business correspondence, this impersonation could cause many to assume the email is legitimate, and this impersonation could cause eaton’s employer to question her work as a journalist. that kind of forgery and impersonation would be criminal. and as absurd as the above hypothetical situation sounds, it is the very thing for which raphael golb, son of university of chicago oriental institute historian norman golb, stands accused of in new york superior court.

so let’s recap:

  • using aliases on the internet is legal.
  • using aliases to promote one’s point of view is and create the appearance of widespread support or outrage is deceptive, and is embarrassing and perhaps even counterproductive if exposed.
  • defaming, harassing, and libeling others on the internet using aliases is potentially a civil crime remedied in civil court via civil law suit if it can be proved who is behind the aliases.
  • impersonating others and forging their name in emails to confess to false accusations of plagiarism with the express purpose of harming one’s credibility as a professional crosses the line into criminal behavior.

in a business like journalism or academics, where the credibility of one’s written work is central to one’s success in one’s job, this kind of forgery and impersonation with the intent to damage one’s credibility and therefore livelihood would potentially be criminal.

one should be very careful when writing letters of protest or support on the internet. for those who wish to do so, here are a few tips to follow when writing on the internet:

  1. don’t use aliases.
  2. don’t say anything on the internet you wouldn’t say in your own name.
  3. and for the love of god, don’t be a prick online.

there is no such thing on the internet! all is known by someone, and when it becomes known, the prophetic words of 2 samuel 12:12 become very true.

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