A tortuously prolonged
process of embarrassment for Prem Rawat, which began in February 2008 with
the expose by Cade Metz in
The Register has culminated in two of Prem Rawat’s ardent followers
being banned from editing Wikipedia articles about
Wikipedia has for a
number of years been a battleground where ‘premies’ (Rawat’s followers)
have sought to control what is written about Rawat, this control is
‘ownership’ in Wikipedia jargon. The chief architect of this exercise
of control seems to have been Jossi Fresco and it
was his activities as revealed by The Register that exposed the dubious
morality of the Rawat cult in its activities on Wikipedia.
Now for the second
time in a single year Wikipedia’s ‘supreme court’, the
Arbitration Committee , has investigated conduct on the editing of
articles dealing with Prem Rawat and organisations connected to him; the
Committee has concluded that the behaviour of two editors,
Rumiton has been so biased that they have
been banned from editing any articles related to Prem Rawat. In addition
the Committee also noted that Jossi Fresco has retired from Wikipedia,
but that in the light of unaddressed concerns Fresco, should he ever wish
to return, would have to seek the Committee’s permission before editing
any article connected to Prem Rawat. A similar statement about Fresco and
his administrator status seems likely to be included in the Committee’s
final decision on a case concerning articles about Scientology
Momento may be an alias for one of
the Australian authors of a pro Rawat section of book about Radical
Rumiton acknowledges he is Australian, though like Momento he avoids
revealing a full real world identity.
Whether the action by the Arbitration
Committee will see progress on improving the Wikipedia articles remains to
be seen, as they stand there is much, even within the limitations imposed
by Wikipedia rules that remains to be
Conspiracy Theory – will the real Jossi Fresco please stand up.
PRC received an email from Jossi Fresco claiming that
documents published on the Internet, which carry both the TPRF contact
details and the name Jossi Fresco, are in fact products of impersonation.
In the light of Jossi Fresco’s claim, PRC has looked closely at various
sources that link Jossi Fresco and TPRF. As noted by
The Register , Fresco’s name has been publicly associated with TPRF’s
ownership since 2002, while as recently as August 2007, a ‘paid for
distribution’ Press Release from TPRF carried the name Jossi Fresco.
PRC replied to Jossi Fresco on
18th February 2008.
The following points were put to Jossi Fresco, however he has declined, so
far, to provide any response.
In respect of your email. Subject Misleading information
The web source you quote as evidence of impersonation has never been
linked or in anyway connected to PRC. Could you explain why you
believe it is relevant for us to consider ?
Even were this web source to be evidence of the impersonation you
claim has taken place there can be no certainty that the impersonator
is the owner of the email address given, in fact it seems highly
unlikely that an impersonator would readily reveal their identity. In
any event [name removed] has no connection with PRC and if you have
concerns regarding the [name removed] websites or their operator, you
should contact him directly.
There are two web sources quoted in the PRC article as evidence that
[the person named] Jossi Fresco is connected with TPRF:
The first of
Is it your
claim that this is also an example of impersonation ?
links to three articles on PageQuest:
Again is it your contention that these three articles have been
brought to the PageQuest service on the basis of someone impersonating
Further is it your contention that you have no contractual, either
paid or voluntary, relationship with TPRF, either currently or in the
past ? This is a relevant question because it seems most surprising
that someone would nefariously use your name to post facsimile copies
of TPRF press releases.
If you have other evidence, such as documentation from the quoted
websites acknowledging that the TPRF releases have been published
using a false name, we would be interested to see it and on such a
basis may consider an amendment to an article that currently appears
PRC takes actual
and claimed Internet abuse seriously, including claimed attempts at
impersonation. Jossi Fresco has provided PRC with no evidence that
impersonation has actually taken place. The links given in the article
Conflict and Duplicity,
are to documents which carry the name Jossi Fresco and which exactly
reproduce text published on the TPRF website. In case
there is any doubt regarding Jossi Fresco’s connection with TPRF, two
further links have been added to the
Conflict and Duplicity article:
Which clearly shows the name Jossi Fresco listed as
the contact for TPRF’s website administration, and which dates from 2002.
This is an official TPRF press release listed on a
paid for service. The name Jossi Fresco is clearly listed as the sole
Conflict and Duplicity will remain unchanged until such time as PRC
receives clear evidence that Jossi Fresco is the subject of a bizarre
impersonation campaign, and Jossi Fresco makes an unequivocal statement
that he has no contractual relationships with organizations which promote
Prem Rawat or contractual relationships with third
parties which receive payment from organizations which
promote Prem Rawat.