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Old 7 June 2010, 23:16
Texagator Texagator is offline
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John Giduck? Operational Credentials?

I don't post much here because I already spend too much time on other tactical websites. There is no doubt that this is a good site with some great people on it and I sometimes lurk here from my work computer. I apologize if I am crapping where I shouldn't be but I am hoping to get some guidance and feedback.

I have already read John Giduck's book, Terror at Beslan: A Russian Tragedy with Lessons for America's Schools and I think it's a great book for American police officers to read. In fact, I think I will add it to my own recommended reading list. For what it's worth, I believe it's a book that ought to be read by all police officers, especially Administrators.

John Giduck claims some impressive credentials. He claims lawyer, researcher, writer, newly minted Ph.D.,...hand to hand combat instructor, member of a lot of organizations (SAS Bodyguard Associaton) etc. Also, see a discussion about his credentials on SOCNET.com HERE.

As I am writing this, I have just finished attending Day One of John Giduck's two day class on the Beslan tragedy which is being held at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Campus Fort Worth, Texas. Mr. Giduck is a good speaker. He seems very well informed. However, there's some things that many of us in the class have noticed:
- He continuously talks about the various special operations teams (mostly Russian) that he has "trained with" but never mentions what team or unit (if any) that he actually belonged to
- He continuously talks about how he "was there" at numerous sites of tragic massacres but then always adds right at the end.." two days after it was over." or "three days later."
- He is wearing 5.11 pants, desert combat boots, a tactical polo short, and a "tactical" type belt.....to give a lecture.
- During a break, one guy said, "Wait a minute! Nowhere does he say that he actually WAS Special Forces, only that he trained them and lectured them. This guy is a professor! This guy is a student. He's a researcher and a writer. He's not operational and he never has been!"

There's a couple of other items that are making alarm bells go off. It strongly appears that he is wanting his audience to believe that is a former Special Forces soldier but he also appears to be playing word games. He's not lying. He has never actually stated that he was SF. This is based on context and specific wording of statements.

The final thing that is of some concern is that it's almost impossible to verify the accounts of those who claim to be getting their information from "Spetnaz" or Russian special forces sources. As many of you know, there's a lot of people peddling BS with the "Russian" label on it because unsophisticated customers will pay actual money for it. I cannot help but be somewhat suspicious of trainers who claim to have contacts in the Russian special forces community.

Is this man really a former soldier with experience in counter-terrorism or is he simply a good researcher, writer, and speaker that we can learn something from? Again, I absolutely do not dispute that he has written a good book (even if it is a Russian special forces love fest...as is his presentation thus far) and that it should be read and passed on to others. I just cannot help but have some suspicions about the man's operational credentials. The word games bother me.


Can someone help me out here? Does anyone here have any information about the professional bona fides of John Giduck with respect to actual operational experience?

If I am out of line, I will delete this and apologize.
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Old 8 June 2010, 05:11
Bearcat06 Bearcat06 is offline
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(5) page thread on him already...

http://socnet.com/showthread.php?t=6...ht=John+Giduck
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Old 8 June 2010, 07:21
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I just reviewed the previous SOCNET thread on him, including the deleted diatribe from SGM Anderson.

I think that you answered your own question: Mr. Giduck appears to be a good researcher, writer and speaker from whom something can be learned. He never served in any American SOF unit. He is not, and never has been, as you phrase it, "a former soldier with experience in counter-terrorism."

He has no operational credentials to speak of, of which I am aware. He does appear to have interviewed participants in several incidents.

Hope that helps.
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Old 8 June 2010, 08:35
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The referenced thread should clear up any mythconceptions...

I will point out that SOCNET never sought Mr. Giduck out.
A member had a question and it was answered. The ensuing diatribe wound up getting deeper into credentialing; and not in favor of the Archangel Group or Mr. Giduck.

Feel free to post more. Maybe an AAR from the Expo?
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Old 11 June 2010, 09:41
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I should have posted this earlier but I've been distracted by a slab leak under my house and the horror of water coming out of the concrete while talking to plumbers about how big the bill is going to be.

The quotes in this post are the words of Mr. Giduck reproduced to the very best of my memory and ability.

On Day Two of the training session, Mr. Giduck started the day by saying that he had received many questions and comments about his professional background. He said that people also wanted to know about how it was that he came to work with Russian special forces. He asked, "do you guys really want to hear this stuff?" The class answered with a resounding, "Yes!"

He started by stating that he was never a police officer or a SWAT guy. He stated that he was never Special Forces or in any military special operations unit. He also stated that there was too much criticism of people going on via the internet (which led me and a couple of other guys to believe that he may have become aware of this thread). He then spent about five minutes pumping up the egos of the attendees by talking about how great we all are, how brave we are, and what a phenomenal job we all do everyday, etc, etc. He followed this by restating that he had never served any high risk warrants, conducted SWAT raids, or participated in any special forces operations. He ended this section by lowering his voice to a near whisper and slowly shaking his head while saying, "I'm a lot of things but I'm not you. I couldn't do what you guys do. I'm just a lawyer. I'm just a lawyer."

He then spent about 20 minutes explaining how he came into contact with Russian special forces. He stated that he had gone to the Soviet Union to work with private business where he was introduced to someone with ties to a Sambo group. He asked to train in Sambo and they put him in touch with some Russian military guys at a "secret base" in Moscow which is actually just a very tall apartment complex where the general public cannot see into the court yard. He said that was where he first started training with the Russian military. He stated that after about 6 months, they introduced him to other people who knew other people who introduced him to this guy and that guy and so on and so forth. It was a very lengthy and detailed explanation about all things Russian military and Spetnaz and how he was able to work his way inside those circles.

He then talked briefly about his projects with "Delta Force which the Army guys call CAG and SEAL Team Six which is known as DEVGRU." His final words about himself were about his new book, The Green Beret in You: Living with Total Commitment to Family, Career, Sports and Life. He said the book is being sold at the bookstore at Ft. Bragg and that it is being passed around and given as gifts among various U.S. special forces units. He said that the Army is considering “making it mandatory reading at their special forces school.” He stated the book had been given to a wounded SEAL in the hospital and that even though it was about the Army’s Green Berets, it had still really lifted the SEAL's spirits. He said, “I know a woman who gives a copy of the book to the men she dates and says, ‘Here. Read this. If you aren't interested in being this kind of man, then I don't want to be with you.’" I hate to say it but his closing statement was basically a sales pitch for his new book. When he was done, he said, "OK, if there are no more questions about who I am and what I do, let's get back to talking about attacks on schools." The presentation continued...

During a break, I talked with some other attendees and the general notion seemed to be that he had done the right thing in clearing up the obvious confusion about who and what he was but that he probably should have done this during Day One. Some guys were still skeptical of him and felt he was mostly a writer/researcher/salesman who had carefully crafted his bio, book, and website in a way that would allow others to believe he was something he is not while never actually making such claims. Others believed that as he had never directly claimed to be a "BTDT guy," then his clearing the air on Day Two adequately addressed any misunderstandings. Some stated that they got very little out of the class only because everything he mentioned had already been addressed in his book, an HBO documentary entitled, Children of Beslan and a documentary on the Discovery Channel. Finally, many believed him to be a good source of information for those who are not familiar with his book or the documentaries about Beslan.

FWIW, I'm satisfied with his explanation of his background. Speaking as an experienced instructor who knows first hand how tough and cynical LE/MIL students can be, I think he should have addressed this on the first day of class and with much more brevity. This would have avoided the confusion among the students that was obviously interfering with his productive message. Regardless, he cleared it up. It's been handled.
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Old 11 June 2010, 10:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texagator View Post
...FWIW, I'm satisfied with his explanation of his background. Speaking as an experienced instructor who knows first hand how tough and cynical LE/MIL students can be, I think he should have addressed this on the first day of class and with much more brevity. This would have avoided the confusion among the students that was obviously interfering with his productive message. Regardless, he cleared it up. It's been handled.
Works for me.

As I stated, this year and two years ago, no-one here went on a pogrom against Mr. Giduck. A question was asked, researched and responded to. The ensuing firestorm all came from Mr Giduck's associates.

Second, I would caution all military and civilian government employees from engaging him beyond listening or reading to his programs. The reason is he, by his own admission, has been in continuous contact with members of a Foreign Intelligence Service for almost 20 years; and has business dealings overseas in the same country as the FIS. By law, we (Military and USG) are required to file a contact report within 72 hours through our chains of command.

Nothing sinister, but that is a butt-load of paperwork and questions to answer. If you compare that to the value of his information as a researcher/journalist/lawyer; is it worth it? If he was a BTDT, would it still be worth it?

If someone were to ask me today if they should utilize Mr Giduck as a trainer or adviser for any aspect of Special Operations, my answer remains a firm 'No'. There are plenty of experienced operators out there right now that can provide that service.

If someone wants to pay $300 to listen to his observations, go for it. It's not my money.
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Old 11 June 2010, 10:20
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Oh, I hope your concrete problem doesn't break your piggy bank too bad... BTDT.
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Old 15 June 2010, 00:55
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He then talked briefly about his projects with "Delta Force which the Army guys call CAG and SEAL Team Six which is known as DEVGRU."

This individual had better hope he never runs into ME. I have a serious problem with the highlighted statement. He is undoubtedly delusional.
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Old 15 June 2010, 20:48
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EDITED BY MOD.

Sambo is a martial art prevalent in the former Soviet Union:

Self Defense Without Weapons = Samozashchita Bez Oruzhia = SAMBO

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambo_%28martial_art%29


Last edited by magician; 16 June 2010 at 00:58.
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Old 16 June 2010, 22:29
Rdret1 Rdret1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texagator View Post
He asked to train in Sambo and they put him in touch with some Russian military guys at a "secret base" in Moscow which is actually just a very tall apartment complex where the general public cannot see into the court yard.
This sounds a lot like the set of an episode from "Fight Quest" or one of those shows on Discovery Channel.
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Old 16 June 2010, 23:42
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Well while on this topic, I can say that I completely agree with Tracy on the fact that there are a plentyful supply of former operators whom are legit to learn from and get needed information concerning ones betterment of work related duties, I for one have learned alot from friends and strangers alike who were BTDT and the caliber for which I sought for information. I recently attended a training in Houston for our new Flex Rig, and was honored to have a former Team Guy from SEAL Team 4 working with a company some of you may have heard of, Check 6, even the fighter jock was cool giving his presentation. These guys are legit and you can tell, in their mannerisms and character. No doupt I will not be attending this guys seminar. As for the russian deal with spetznaz, I have had the honor of learning Systema from an instructor training directly under the former operators Vladimir Stirov and Vladimir Vasiliev, awsome guys all of them, just my $0.2 worth.
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Old 7 July 2010, 19:30
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Interresting

I went to this "Beslan Talk" with Mr. Giduck at a local Agency today. Thank God it was free. I don't know if he charged the host agency or not, but I immediately was turned off by the "what I am and what I am not" speech that was relayed above. (BTW was almost verbaitm what he said today, and much ego pumping to the audience "you're the greatest" stuff). It was interresting to me that a high ranker of the host agency READ a bio of Mr. Giduck from a piece of paper. I thought that it was probably provided to him by Mr. Giduck. I heard a lot of stuff that started alarm bells going off. Some of the guys near me exchanged the glance.



I will say that he went to some lengths to clearly state that he WAS NOT SF or anything like that, BUT...if you listen closely, he makes a lot of statements that IMPLY that he was. If you listen to that crap long enough, one could forget that he gave the previous disclaimer, and ANYONE comming in late would immediately make the assumption that he was SF.

Anyway. The seminar was interresting from a historical standpoint. If one was interrested in the backstory of the Chechyn "problems" then it was interresting. Also, I felt he did a good job with some of the things that can be expected in a mass hostage incicent, but this is nothing that can not be gleaned from reading AAR's. This may be me talking out my ass since I have no experience in this area, only the training I recieve via S.W.A.T. so it was interresting to me to hear what the higher-ups may or may not base their decisions on.

There was a GREAT AMOUNT of time spent on organization of Russian forces. Lots of Alpha this, and Vympel that. An INSANE amount of drawing on a diagram of the school on an overhead projector. It was my opinion that ALL of this stuff was an adequate AAR by someone who was not there. It was not as if Mr. Giduck was there AS the events were unfolding. He went as near as I can tell uninvited on his own. All of the photos and videos seemed to me to have been patched together from Russian News Clips, although I am certain many of the pictures of the building after the fires had been extinguised were taken by Mr. Giduck.

I was extremely turned off by the video portion of the seminar which consisted of about fifteen minutes of footage of dead and mutilated children. I suppose it can be argued that this is to "innoculate" first responders to this sort of thing, and I GUESS that has SOME merrit. However, this was an auditorium FULL of S.W.A.T. and other SENIOR Cops who have seen and done all that shit before. Any cop, anywhere has been involved in enough human tragety to not need to see that stuff anymore. It served no purpose in my opinion.

Mr. Giduck spoke about "hesitating a shot causing more death" and the like. I will not flog a deceased quadraped here as it has been discussed, but just keep in mind, this gentleman has no operational experience. He made some interresting statements like, "since when have the Russians told the truth about anything." Which made me think to myself, "So thery're gonna tell YOU, a Western Academic the truth...O.K."

Lot's of "when I trained with..." statements. Very few actual names for sources of information though he did give some.

All this said, I did buy his books. The deal was right, and I wanted to evaluate them myself. I flipped through the Beslan book prior to purchase and I think if looked at from a purely academic standpoint, it could offer some good information. As far as the Green Beret book, for the fifteen bucks it cost me, if it gives me anything that makes me a better Lieutenant for my Officers, then it was money well spent.

This was offerred purely as a review of the seminar for anyone interrested in going. I recommend it if it is free.
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Last edited by Fox; 7 July 2010 at 19:43. Reason: I forget stuff!
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Old 8 July 2010, 15:43
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Sharc1:

That was outstanding. Thank you for that.

m.
=
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Old 13 July 2010, 12:11
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Alfa

Spetsgruppa A is a unit within FSB. Any 'information' John Giduck has on this unit, I suspect he has it from book or internet (with expected level of accuracy).

I have acquaintance who was division-level spetsnaz Soldier in soviet army of 1980 era. He informed me that Alfa unit- details are not discussed, even with other Soldier in different spetsnaz unit.

His lecture and briefing seem obvious and simple. It is like he is 'breathing instructor'- "Remember, if you do not breathe, you will die. Here are photograph of people who have died from not breathing!"

Regards,
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Old 13 July 2010, 19:11
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Awesome!

Johan,

That was great! I had a crap day and that made me laugh!

FWIW,

Thanks,

S1
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Old 10 December 2011, 20:06
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Texagator : Data you may not be aware of with respect to Archangel and John Giduck

Sir,
I appreciate your opening the door to further information regarding John Giduck and Archangel.

To begin with I believe I have sufficient credentials to offer a professional opinion as I graduated BUD/s class 88, duty at SEAL Team 2, MOB 6,
Plankowner of SEAL Team 6 and then Red Cell prior to departing for the private sector. So if my bonafides are accepted by you, then please read on.
Otherwise have a great day with no hard feelings as relevant facts would have no bearing for consideration by you in this matter.

First off, Archangel is comprised of a group of highly decorated combat veterans with a dedication and purpose to "spread the word" and help those first responders, whether military or civilian as needed. Their board includes retired high ranking military officers, prominent retired law enforcement personnel as well as a Special Forces Medal of Honor recipient.

This board is very much "hands on" and oversees the direction of the Company as well as the "content" of material being presented. This Board has elected John Giduck to serve as their "voice".

As all of you are aware, our law enforcement agencies have a very tough job. The rules of engagement alone put them at a distinct disadvantage. In SEAL Team 6, as we were learning how to do what no one had accomplished prior to our inception, people died or were severly injured every step of the way. You also are aware that Delta, ST-6 and other military groups are highly "secretive" and don't like to share information. As acts of terror become more common, law enforcement needs help in developing the skill sets necessary to keep our families safe while we are deployed taking the fight to our enemies.

I consider Archangel to be like "Switzerland". Upon review you would learn that they have an excellent reputation within law enforcement for disseminating information and serving as a "resource" that can be relied upon.
It is my experience that the Company tends to take a "neutral" stance when asked to evaluate and provide an after action report that can be shared with all agencies. That is why when a situation goes down such as Columbine, the Archangel "team" is allowed within the crime scene to document and understand the nuances of the situation so that other departments can learn from it and hopefully save a life in the future.

You are correct, John Giduck was not a member of Special Forces, SEAL Team or other tier one forces. John Giduck was a lawyer with some military backgroud (according to Andy Anderson) who threw all that away to dedicate his life to Archangel helping to spread the word of terrorist activities and provide a resource with Archangel for whatever law enforcement and first responders may need. John Giduck is well educated and very articulate. He is passionate about what he does. John Giduck is the one most of you see standing in front of the crowd. However when training requirements dictate, the appropriate "advisors" (special warfare operatives, Special Forces, etc who have relevant combat experience in this area) are there as contract labor for Archangel assisting with the instruction.

If you attend a lecture or a training session with Archangel, no matter what occurs you will come away with a positive experience. That experience may take several different forms: 1. You may learn somthing that you deem relevant to your particular situation. 2. You may realize that what they are teaching may not have a bearing on your particular situation HOWEVER in doing so, you have VALIDATED your training method and practice which makes you that much more effective by being confident in your system and methodoligy, 3. You may become vocal and dissagree, however in doing so you have stimulated an active discussion amongst your peers which is very, very beneficial in creating an open learning environment and 4. You must all agree, that based upon this forum and the comments herein, individuals are not being secretive and are opening up. That is a good thing. However I feel you don't have all the facts.

Again, John Giduck is merely the "voice" of Archangel. In the military you have all come in contact with "challenge coins" in one fashion or another. When you look at your collection of challenge coins, you can think about those entities you worked with outside your own and you may have a few or as many as 10-20 in your career. The Archangel "team" and John Giduck have touched over a THOUSAND law enforcement and military units in this Country as evidenced by the tables full of "challenge coins" of units they have dealt with sitting in their office.

Though you may not agree with what you saw or heard on one occassion that you spent an hour or so in a room with John Giduck and members of Archangel, the fact that an entity in this Country is asked back time and time again by military and law enforcement agencies to provide not only "updates" but to serve as a reliable reference as to activities observed in the world is a testament to their commitment to help wherever possible. These guys at Archangel are not rich (financially), as they often donate their time and materials on a moments notice to assist departments when asked.

It is my opinion that when rocks are thrown at John Giduck and Archangel, you place yourself above their board members including Drew Dix, (medal of honor winner) who know all the facts and personally direct the activities of their "voice" (John Giduck) and the efforts they fund in trying to help our countries first responders.

I leave you with this if I may:

I was an operator and plank owner of SEAL Team 6. I have been in combat. I was a training officer and people died in our training as we "figured out" how to get the job done that we were asked to do.

John Giduck and the Archangel "team" does not publish anything nor teach anything without first consulting close "advisors" who were experts in their fields and combat veterans. In doing so, with Archangel interreacting with over a THOUSAND first responder units in this Country...IF JOHN GIDUCK AND THE ARCHANGEL "TEAM" CAN LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES AND PASS ALONG THE INFORMATION TO FIRST RESPONDERS THAT SAVES JUST 1 (ONE) LIFE THAT WE LOST THROUGH OUR TRIAL AND ERROR METHOD, then in my mind they are doing a noble deed and deserve a little less "web site bashing".

All of us have something positive to contribute to society, even if it is only to feed the worms when we are gone. Everyone has different "Life experiences" that can be shared and if you have constructive criticism for the Archangel Group, their door is ALWAYS OPEN and just a phone call or email away.

Respectfully,
Sealathome
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Old 10 December 2011, 21:25
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Sealathome:

Welcome aboard. I'm somewhat surprised this thread is resurrected again.

First: http://socnet.com/showthread.php?t=68269

Second: We didn't "witch hunt" this issue. Question was asked, question was answered.

Third: Your Director of Training and Operations lit me up on this web site. I responded. In general, we kept it above the belt.

Fourth: To my knowledge, no one from this web site engaged in any campaign against Mr. Giduck, Archangel or your Director. Then or now.

Fifth: After-action reports by LEOs who attended the seminar were posted here. No one took them to task over their reports. As a point of order, several posts against Archangel and Mr. Giduck were removed because of the vitriol.

So, why is this issue resurrected? Out of curiosity, how long have you been with Archangel? Nothing confrontational, but... wow.
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Old 10 December 2011, 23:13
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Locked. Have a great day.
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Old 12 December 2011, 07:36
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I'd like to add a few points-

We deleted another thread where a new join attacks Tracy directly. Just like sealathome he does not directly address the actual events or facts.

There were no posts deleted that contained facts. Unlike those who are registering or sending emails, attorney's or wringing their hands over this thread, we can still see the posts. (and the recently deleted thread)We know exactly where they were sent from, registration, etc... and the key take away is that there was an overt attempt at deception by a person and they did not contain any factual information that refuted the opinions or the firsthand observations that were posted here.

Throwing everything against the wall and hoping some of it will stick or forcing people to refute every little point of nuance is not going to fly. The thread attacking Tracy was just that, emotional drivel with no facts challenging a member to debate points the poster didn't even have his facts correct about.

Giduck is a public person. Discussion about him can cut both ways. We didn't invent it. Questions were asked and answers were provided.

We're not the ones bumping this up. It was dead here years ago.

Thank you
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Old 11 January 2012, 18:06
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For more information-
http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?t=107006?
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