Michael Shermer, Steven Pinker, and Noam Chomsky: A Pattern of Defending Liars

gretavo's picture

We all know Michael Shermer as a semi-professional defender of the official story of 9/11, and that Noam Chomsky has long played dumb when asked anything about 9/11. Turns out both of them have come to the defense of another liar, Harvard Professor Marc Hauser, who was forced to resign after he was found guilty of academic misconduct by the university and then by the government's Office of Research Integrity. Hauser's recently self-published book on (of all things) why people do evil has received ringing endorsements from a handful of supporters including Shermer and Chomsky.  While Chomsky is a past co-author of journal articles with Hauser, and defended him early on, Shermer seems to have only recently decided to apply his special brand of skepticism to this particular fabricator.

Steven Pinker is another of Marc Hauser's defenders who has a peculiar fascination with 9/11 "conspiracy theorists". Here is a telling quote from someone who knows both men:

"I knew Marc and taught with him a few times, while I was a graduate student and he replaced Terry Deacon as the brain-guy for the Anthropology Department. Then, I graduated and was absorbed into a faculty role, teaching a class for the then new Mind Brain Behavior program, tutorials for Biological Anthropology, etc. At about the same time, Marc applied for tenure in the anthropology department but was denied, but Steven Pinker, something of a mentor for Marc at that point, lobbied on his behalf (as did others) and he was brought into a tenure slot in the Psychology Department."

An interesting nexus of coincidence, no?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
kate of the kiosk's picture

thought of you when watched this:

sorry I forgot how to embed, but basically it's James Corbett of corbettreport calling out NC as gatekeeper. I believe there's an interview segment with Pinker (gray curly-top) sorta in the beginning...



gretavo's picture

not a bad run down on Chomsky, but...

...I think he misses the point, which is that Chomsky knowingly presents a false dichotomy--either al Qaeda did it or Bush did it, and Bush wouldn't do it unless he was crazy so al Qaeda must have done it. this is the antithesis to Jon Gold's brand of LIHOP truthing that says Silverstein's building demolitions are inconsequential or perhaps even not true--it was Bush who did it for reasons X Y and Z. It's a crypto-Zionist 1-2 punch--a self-contained and self-defeating dichotomy in its own right. And just one more indication that the truth behind 9/11 indicts Zionism.

juandelacruz's picture

Chomsky on 9-11 at RT


I like the comments where almost everyone says Chomsky is wrong on 9-11 and some even call him a gatekeeper.

gretavo's picture

David Stein (Formerly David Cole) on Michael Shermer


Michael Shermer Tries to Ban My Book; Demands I Recant!

Me and Shermer at the '94 IHR conference

I’ve known little Mikey Shermer since 1993. I tell many interesting
stories about this “skeptic” fraud in my book, Republican Party Animal
(available from Amazon, Walmart, and Barnes & Noble in the US, Waterstones and Foyles in the UK, Indigo/Chapters in Canada…but enough self-promotion).

Shermy got wind of the fact that I include quite a few pages of
conversations that I recorded with him in 1994 – conversations in which
he admits to defaming me and lying about my work regarding Holocaust
revisionism. So, what did “Mr. Freethinker” do? How did “America’s
leading skeptic and defender of free inquiry” respond?

He got his lawyers to serve my publisher with a demand to “refrain
from publishing or distributing” my book! This is a man who slams
religious institutions for stifling free inquiry and suppressing facts.
And he wants to ban a book.

That’s some great skepticizin’ there, Mikey.

Oh, and one other thing…along with the “cease and desist” order the
lawyers sent to my publisher, they sent me one as well, with a
pre-written statement of recantation that I was supposed to read
publicly on Youtube.

Yes, that’s right. Shermy the “skeptic,” Shermy the “scientist,” had
his lawyers try to force me to recant publicly. Oh, and just for the
record, Shermaboy’s actual field is “history of science.” So, a science
“historian” saw no irony in trying to force a person to publicly recant
their sincerely-held views. Shermer’s knowledge of science history must
be as firm as his grasp of Holocaust history.

Anyway, Mikey’s law firm was no match for me. In a matter of hours,
they retreated like that mangy dog that got its ass kicked by a cat a
few weeks ago. I’m a drunk, but even ten vodkas to the wind, I’m a hell
of a lot smarter than Shermer and his paid suits. I’ll just lay
everything out below, exactly as it happened, and you can enjoy seeing
“Mr. Skeptic” get pantsed.

And I do hope you enjoy!

From the venerable law firm of Neufeld Marks, to my publisher (this
is just a screenshot of the top of page one, so that you may properly
identify the fine legal minds who attempted the book banning):




Here’s the specific demand:




And here’s their demand to me, that I read this recantation on
Youtube like a POW at the Hanoi Hilton forced to “confess” for the




And now the fun starts. Here’s my email to Jennifer MikoLevine, the attorney who wrote the letters:

Dear Ms. MikoLevine,

I cannot tell you how pleased I was to receive your email, and to
read the one you sent to my publisher. The fact that Mikey Shermer would
resort to using a law firm to demand that a book be censored (as per
your email to my publisher, in which you demand that he “immediately
refrain from publishing or distributing Republican Party Animal”) is
golden. Seriously – it’s a birthday gift. I’m glad Shermer recognizes
how badly his own words, in the recorded conversations that are
transcribed in the book, make him look.

By trying to get the book pulled your client is essentially saying,
“yep – I said some very damaging things, and I don’t want anyone to read
them.” I’m sure everyone, from skeptics to Creationists, from atheists
to believers, from 9/11 truthers to global warming doubters, will
appreciate the fact that Mikey Shermer is demanding that a book be
pulled from the marketplace merely because it contains transcripts of
his own words.

That’s some great “freethought” there, Mikey.

Now, out of respect for you, coming – as I do – from a very long line
of lawyers – I will address the points you made in your email to me. I
will leave it to my publisher to address the points you made in your
email to him. The words and ideas expressed in this email represent only
my opinion and not that of Feral House Publishing.

To begin with, yes, in 1994, I did record several phone conversations
with Michael Shermer without his consent. I announced that fact
publicly at the September 1994 Institute for Historical Review
conference in Orange County, California. Shermer admitted to being aware
of the existence of the recordings in an “open letter to revisionists”
he circulated in March 1995.

If Mikey had desired to take any legal action, by filing criminal
charges or initiating a civil case, he’s had almost twenty years to do
so. The statute of limitations for criminal or civil action regarding
the illegal recording of a phone call in California has long run out. As
a lawyer, I’m sure you’re aware that in such matters, in California,
the statute of limitations time period begins when the aggrieved party
learns of the existence of the recordings.

Time has long run out.

Beyond that, I’m certain that you, as a lawyer, know that there is an
exception to the California law regarding the non-consensual recording
of a phone conversation. One is allowed to record a “confidential
communication” for the purpose of obtaining evidence “reasonably
believed” to relate to the commission, by another party, of violence
against the person doing the recording. The person accused or suspected
of the violence need not be the person being recorded. The recording
need only be made with the reasonable belief that it might be relevant
in some way to felonious violence against the person doing the

When I recorded Shermer in 1994, he had falsely and publicly accused
me of being a “racist” (his term), and this false accusation had helped
ramp up the Jewish Defense League’s “reward offer” for my death (several
months after Shermer’s lies about me were published, I was badly beaten
while walking back from a grocery store). I therefore “reasonably
believed,” in good faith, that I had a legitimate interest in obtaining
evidence in which Shermer admitted to me that he had lied about me being
a racist, and that he had publicly misrepresented my work.

In the audio tapes I recorded, Shermer does indeed admit that his
“racist” claim was false, and that he had publicly misrepresented my

Still, I think that’s all moot because of the statute of limitations
running out so long ago. But all the same, out of respect to you, I felt
it was only right for me to offer that additional explanation. You’re

Come after me if you desire. I fear Michael Shermer and his lawyers
as much as I fear a hangnail. But we both know that rule number one of
being a good lawyer is, “feel free to file suits you know you can’t
win.” Because sometimes winning isn’t the objective; intimidation is. So
come on, let’s go a few rounds. Let’s see how those intimidation
tactics work on me.

Regarding your ridiculous claim that I “defamed” Shermer, how can I
defame someone with their own words? If I’m playing recorded audio of
Shermer speaking, and if I haven’t altered the audio in any deceptive
manner, how can that be defamation? If Shermer believes that the audio
defames him, he needs to hire your firm to bring a case against himself.
I’d think that would be a beneficial thing for Neufeld Marks – one
client, double billing. And you’re guaranteed a victory one way or the

Also, and here’s where you’re being a patronizing little pest, Jenn,
you know perfectly well (or at least I hope to God you do) that Shermer
is a public figure and therefore if I have a sincere belief that he is a
fraud who betrays the supposedly “scientific” principles he claims to
espouse, I can say so, and he has no course of action. I have been
saying that Mikey Shermer is a fraud for twenty years. There is no
question that this is a belief I hold sincerely and in good faith.

A judge wouldn’t let a defamation suit regarding my use of the word
fraud in regard to Shermy get past your first billing session (which
would probably still make the filing worth your firm’s time).

So, putting aside all of the areas in which you simply have no case,
let me interject a small bit of what I like to call “lawyer Kryptonite:”
ethics. I understand that I just made you shudder by the use of that
word, and I apologize.

When it comes to “defamation,” it is I who would have had multiple
reasons to bring an action against Shermy. I chose not to. I despise the
notion of going to a court of law, because I hate wearing suits and
getting up early. Oh, and I also prefer a society in which people can
freely lie about me, to one in which speech, any speech, is penalized.

But hey, that’s just me.

Shermer knows full well that the term “racist” is the modern-day
equivalent of calling someone a “witch” in the Middle Ages. He knows the
consequences that can come from the false use of that term. Here’s a
small, VERY small, sampling from those dreaded audio tapes that are
transcribed in my book:


Me: “You say [in the Skeptic Magazine article], ‘revisionists like
Weber, Zundel, Irving, Cole, and Smith have tried to convince me they
are not racists and have no political agendas, but they have been
contradicted from within their own ranks.’ But then you don’t go on to
explain anything, any kind of ‘contradiction,’ about me, even though you
just included me in that grouping.”

Shermer: “Yeah, I was sorta lumping everyone I had covered in the article . . .”

Me: “But that’s not fair to me.”

Shermer: “Yeah, that’s true. That’s right.”

Me: “I mean, you don’t think I’m racist . . .”

Shermer: “No, I don’t.”

Me: “But, you do understand that that might give the impression I am, for people who read it who don’t know me . . .”

Shermer: “Yeah, yeah . . . it would.”

Me: “I mean, honestly, that’s not really fair to me, is it?”

Shermer: “I would agree.”

Me: “That it wasn’t fair to me.”

Shermer: “Right.”


And right there, ol’ Shermy cops to defamation, Jenn.

When I emailed Sherm last summer, as I was researching my book, we
had this fascinating exchange, on 8/17/13, published in full in my book:


From me:

Hi Mike,

It’s the guy you never get tired of attacking, David Cole. I’ve been
keeping up with this whole rape accusation thing, and, of course, I have
no special knowledge beyond what I’ve read. But, and here’s the reason
I’m writing to you, I’m just damn, terribly curious. And curiosity is
good, right, Mike? So here’s my curiosity. Has this experience, you
know, the whole rape accusation thing, made you any more sympathetic, or
perhaps given you a bit more empathy, regarding the things you said
about me? How you branded me a “racist” (the modern equivalent of
calling someone a “witch”). How you admitted you lied. And how you
refused to retract your accusation even after admitting you lied.

So I’m interested in asking you if your current dilemma has perhaps birthed in you some small regret for having lied about me.

I have no knowledge of the truth or lack thereof regarding the
accusations made against you. If they’re true, there is no punishment
that is too harsh for you. But if they’re false, well . . . it kinda
stinks having folks print lies about you, huh? Is this a “chickens
coming home to roost” moment for Dr. Michael Shermer?

Shermer’s reply:

Hi David,

Thank you for the frank and forthright letter. To cut to the chase
and answer your question, yes the libelous and defamatory comments being
made about me has (sic) made me more sympathetic and understanding to
how I have interacted with creationists, Holocaust revisionists, New Age
gurus like Deepak Chopra, and others, and in fact, all of the people I
have debated with in all of these fields have been, for the most part,
unfailingly polite to me and far more thoughtful and reasonable than any
of the people in the FTB/athiest [sic] community and how they have
treated me.

I don’t think you are a racist David, and I’m sorry for the things I said about you.

So, yeah David, the chickens have come home to roost, so please accept my apology for some of the things I said about you.


You’re bettin’ on the wrong horse, Jenn. Your client is an admitted
defamer. Did they teach you about the “clean hands doctrine” in law
school? Sherm probably would not fare well bringing a defamation suit
against me.

I’ve saved the best for last. You actually, and I assume with a
straight face, printed up a statement that you and Dr. Shermer “demand” I
read verbatim on Youtube.

Are you and Shermer clinically insane? Writing up a “recantation” and
demanding that I read it on camera as though these are my own thoughts
and opinions? Is this the Hanoi Hilton? Okay, you’re a lawyer, Jenn. You
might not know history. But Sherm claims to be both a scientist and a
historian. Surely, he must be aware of how bad it will look for a
so-called skeptic, scientist, and “freethinker” to demand that someone
with whom he disagrees be forced, under threat of legal action, to
publicly read a pre-written statement of recantation in which the
threatened party is told what to say, is ordered to say it verbatim, and
is threatened with repercussions if he doesn’t publicly recant his
sincerely held views.

As I said, you’re an attorney. I don’t expect you to know how bad it
looks for a “scientist” to order someone to publicly read a pre-written
statement of recantation under threat of dire consequences. But Shermer
should know. He should know the connotations and historical baggage
associated with forced recantations. This is not going to make him look

But let’s examine the statement you and Shermer demand I read:


Dr. Shermer demands that you issue a retraction of the Entries on Youtube as follows:

“I hereby retract the entries posted on May 7, 2014, entitled David
Cole Presents Dr. Michael Shermer: the Unauthorized Video (Part I) and
David Cole Presents Dr. Michael Shermer: the Unauthorized Video (Part
II). Specifically, I hereby retract all statements, quotations, and
comments therein made with respect to Dr. Shermer, and the references to
and transcripts and recordings of phone calls between myself, my
friend, and Dr. Shermer. I extend my apologies to Dr. Shermer and to any
other party affected by the statements, quotations, comments, and
recordings contained in the entries.”


You want me to “retract” my “statements and comments” regarding Dr.
Shermer. In other words, you want me to read a pre-written statement in
which I retract my sincerely-held beliefs. You want to force me to read a
statement in which I mindlessly repeat words you put in my mouth, words
that betray my true feelings about Shermer.

And amazingly, it gets worse. Because you also call on me to
“retract” the “transcripts and recordings of phone calls between myself
and Dr. Shermer.”

What? How can I “retract” transcripts and recordings of Shermer’s own
words? Do you actually know the definition of retract? “To say that
something you said or wrote is not true or correct.” How can I “retract”
Shermer’s words? How is that even possible? It makes no sense.
“Retracting” another man’s words? It’s impossible.

Believing in Bigfoot riding the Loch Ness Monster while Martians
controlled by the preserved head of Elvis in a Mayan space capsule drop
unicorn kill-bots on planet earth makes more sense than believing that
any man can “retract” another man’s words.

This is shameful. You should be ashamed. Shermer should be ashamed. And soon you will both be publicly shamed.

By your own words.

Which you will probably then demand I “retract.”

Kindest Regards,

David Cole (Stein)

And here is her reply. I hope she’s not an advocate of gun control,
because the bullets she’s sweating surely surpass California’s
ammunition regulations:

Dear Mr. Cole,

Our letters to you and Feral House were premised on our understanding
that Dr. Shermer’s phone conversations were recorded without his
knowledge or consent, and that he only discovered their existence last
week.  Your e-mail below, however, references an “open letter to
revisionists” Dr. Shermer allegedly circulated in March 1995.  As our
investigation into this matter is ongoing, we would appreciate your
forwarding a copy of that letter if it is currently in your possession.

Yours truly,

Jennifer MikoLevine

My reply:

Very happy to oblige, Jennifer. Here is a link, preserved
at the anti-revisionist site Nizkor Project, to Shermer’s March 1995
“Open  Letter to Holocaust Revisionists:”

The second paragraph is the relevant one.

Also, check out this archived entry, from July 1995: http://www.nizkor.org/ftp.cgi?people/c/cole.david/cole-to-mccarthy-95062...

Go to page 4. I quote a document from Shermer in which he admits
knowing about my concerns regarding my safety BEFORE he publicly and
falsely called me a racist. He knew the dangers BEFORE he defamed me.
And he confirms that those  dangers were foremost on my mind at the

Shermer knew of my concerns for my physical safety before he defamed
me in 1994, and I had a reasonable belief that I was preventing
additional violent acts from being committed against me by obtaining
proof that Shermer lied about his claim that I am a “racist.”

Best Regards,


And Sherm-Sherm throws in the towel:

Dear Mr. Cole and Mr. Parfrey,

In light of this information, Dr. Shermer does not plan to pursue legal action with respect to you or Feral House at this time.

Yours truly,

Jennifer MikoLevine

At this point, I was ready to move on. I won, Shermy lost, end of
story. But the day before the cease and desist letters were sent, Sherm
filed a “privacy complaint” to get the video in which I speak about my
history with him removed from Youtube. Unlike copyright infringement
complaints, which can be easily fought, privacy complaints are damn near
impossible to reverse on Youtube. This category of complaint was
created to keep bullies from posting the private information of teenage
girls. So Shermer, acting like a teen girl, used this category of
complaint to get my video removed.

And the basis for his “privacy complaint?” I held up the covers of
his books to the camera. As you can see in the screenshot of the actual
complaint, for seventeen seconds, from the 5:21 mark in the video to the
5:38 mark, “Michael Shermer books shown in video:”




Yes, the books that have been available for years at hundreds of
stores around the world constitute a “privacy violation” simply because I
held them up to the camera. I did not open them, I did not read from
them, I did not even REVIEW them. I just held up the covers (and, to be
fair, I’m written about a LOT in each of those books…don’t I have a
right to TOUCH the damn things?).

Michael Shermer, accused rapist, abused a Youtube policy meant to protect teen girls from bullies. What a guy!

As I said, Youtube doesn’t allow an appeals process for privacy
complaints. So the video is gone, for good. But here’s the audio of a
conversation I referenced in that video:




I will have more to say about cowardly accused rapist phony skeptic lying fraud Michael Shermer next week.

Honestly, I really was going to walk away after beating his lawyers
like rented mules. I never like to pile on after a successful thrashing.
But getting my Youtube videos pulled because Shermer abused a policy
meant to protect thirteen-year-old girls? Now, I’m pissed. Now, I’m only
getting started on that sweaty-browed phony.