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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

How Anthony Watts, persecuted victim and hero, valiantly thwarts imaginary roadblock throwers

Sou | 12:37 PM Go to the first of 49 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts has finally called for nominations to the board of his Open Atmospheric Society (archived here). His article is an excellent example of the Persecuted Victim turned Hero, as described in Recurrent Fury. The Persecuted Victim is one who self-identifies as the victim of an organised persecution. That allows them to present themselves as heroes.

From Recurrent Fury:

At least tacitly, people who hold conspiratorial views also perceive themselves as brave antagonists of the nefarious intentions of the conspiracy; that is, they are victims but also potential heros.

The timeline of the Open Atmospheric Society


This is a timeline of the Open Atmospheric Society:

May 2012 - Anthony Watts polled his readers, and 949 said they would join "a professional organization dedicated to offering an alternate to organizations like the American Meteorological Society etc?" (h/t Millicent)

July 2012 - FLwolverine discovered that the Open Atmospheric Society filed as a Domestic Non-Profit Corporation in the State of Nevada, from 19 July 2012, listing:
  • Willard A. Watts as President
  • Jospeh (sic) D'Aleo as Treasurer and 
  • Lisa Smalley as Secretary

July 2012 to June 2014 - not a peep

June 2014 - The OAS domain name is registered, a website is created, and has a "Welcome to the OAS" entry

July 2014 - The OAS officially commences operation on 1 July 2014, according to its Charter. There was no name associated with it on the website.

July 2014 - Anthony Watts reportedly announced the Open Atmospheric Society at the Heartland Institute denier fest in Las Vegas

September 2014 - Anthony Watts announced the OAS on his blog, and called for members. Still no word of who was behind it or associated with it in any official capacity.

January 2015 - Deadline expires - for appointing a board and membership committee, with no sign of any activity.

April 2015 - OAS was granted tax exempt status effective from 19 July 2012, under 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Not a whisper about this at WUWT or on the OAS website.

June 2015 - Anthony Watts added a tiny promo for the OAS at the bottom of one of his articles, and announced he was "acting executive director". The notice of tax exempt status was finally added to the OAS website.

July 2015 - Anthony Watts writes an article at WUWT, calling for nominations to the OAS board, and for new members to join, and for existing members to renew their subs (though most only signed up last September and haven't got anything to show for it yet).


WUWT's OAS is now making some progress, maybe, with the valiant hero to thousands smashing through non-existent roadblocks from non-existent nefarious people, and jumping through hoops held by President Obama and the IRS.





Persecuted by non-existent roadblocks


Anthony Watts claims that the delay was "because roadblocks get thrown in your way by people that don’t want skeptics to be recognized on any level. " He asserted that "Such is the case with the Open Atmospheric Society".

Except it didn't happen.

If you were wanting to read about roadblocks and the people who threw them, you'll be disappointed. He just made that bit up. In the very next sentence he admits that it didn't happen. There were no roadblocks and there were no roadblock throwers. Anthony takes all the credit for the lack of same. It's just an excuse given by Anthony himself for the secrecy he cloaked his open society in. He claims the roadblock throwers didn't come because of the secrecy, calling it "quiet mode", writing:
By operating in quiet mode, many of the critics who actively challenge such applications thought it was probably dead, and didn’t bother.
What a clever hero Anthony is. By keeping it all under wraps he avoided any non-existent roadblocks being thrown by his imaginary persecutors.


Persecuted by President Obama and the IRS


Anthony then blamed President Obama and the IRS for throwing roadblocks. He wrote:
I’m sure many readers are well aware of the roadblocks that have been thrown at organizations that have applied for a 501(c)(3) status by the Obama administration and the Internal Revenue Service.  

So Anthony wanted US taxpayers to subsidise his secretive open society and then blamed the President and the tax collector for putting roadblocks in his way.

Except they didn't.


From roadblocks to hoops


Next Anthony admits he just made that bit up, too. There was no horror story. He explains that:
...while this didn’t exactly qualify as a horror story, there were a few hoops that we had to jump through and many delays in the process.

Oh dear. In order to get the taxpayers to subsidise his secretive open society he had to meet some requirements. How awful. Surely President Obama and the IRS should have made it much easier for him. But no. They had the gall to insist that the organisation existed before they were prepared to allow the subsidy. They asked for proof that there were some members. That was why Anthony finally decided, two years and four months after registering his secretive open society on the quiet, to plead with his readers to join up. He explained:
Our initial application was rejected after several months because the Internal Revenue Service would not approve the 501(c)(3) status on projections alone (apparently models don’t cut it with them, only hard real numbers). We actually had to show that we had a membership and were operating.

Well, he couldn't show that it was operating because it wasn't. However he decided he'd better go out and try to round up some members. He wrote:
Therefore last year we had to solicit for membership ...


Lame excuses for secrecy


The question is, did he believe enough in his society to have kept it going if he couldn't get exemption from paying any tax? He wrote:
Therefore last year we had to solicit for membership and run the organization a few months essentially in “quiet mode”, while the IRS made their determinations.

He didn't "have to" run it in "quiet mode". He could have run it according to its name, in open mode, from the outset if he'd wanted to, and paid the measly sums owing in taxes (if any). The IRS would have been more likely to give it the nod from the beginning if he'd got things moving sooner. He obviously successfully faked it with the IRS, because he said that:
We actually had to show that we had a membership and were operating
Except it hasn't started operating yet. It doesn't even have a board yet, let alone any journal or other membership activities.


Persecuted victim and hero sails solo in hostile waters


Anthony managed to dredge up a few members but his secretive society most certainly wasn't operating. And it still isn't. It was supposed to have a board in place within six months of its establishment. And its charter states, it was formally declared established on 1 July 2014. Yet he's only now calling for nominations - more than six months after the due date. No board and no membership committee either, which is also meant to be in place.

At least Anthony has now declared who is behind his secretive society. Brave hero Anthony Watts wrote that he appointed himself as acting director and was heroically navigating the "Red Sea of Tape" all on his lonesome:
This of course gave ammunition to critics who said that the organization was either dead from the start or was just a flash in the pan. Neither is the case, as acting director, I was simply navigating the Red Sea of Tape alone. 

He continues to weave his conspiratorial web, writing about hostile climates:
I’m happy to report that the OAS has now received its official certification letter of 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service, and we can now conduct business just like any other tax exempt organization. It has been a long time coming, and given the ahem, hostile climate… 

Well, he already and very quietly reported in June, that the OAS got its tax exempt status - several months after he actually got it (in April this year).  This can't be described as anything but excuse-making for dragging his feet. And sure enough, here's his excuse, in full Persecuted Victim regalia:
I held my breath and waited a while, expecting some challenge to the status from somebody who trolls such approvals with a political intent, but no challenge came.
Poor Anthony. No-one is persecuting him. It doesn't stop him from waving his victim card about though, does it.


Ready to roll - finally, sort of, if he gets a board


Now he needs to get some more members. He wrote:
Now that it has the needed status, hasn’t been challenged right after approval, and won’t become a personal tax liability for myself and Joe DeAleo who set up the idea with me, the organization is ready to roll and we can actively begin recruiting new members as well as setting up our Board of Directors.

Obviously he thinks it's a money-maker, or else why would he worry about tax liability? You only worry about that if you're going to make money. If it cost him money on balance, then he could declare it as a business expense and save some tax. I don't know of any not-for-profit organisation that gets tax exempt status before it starts, or before it has a governing body. It could be different in the USA of course, or maybe Anthony can claim a first on that score.

The board has to be elected by members - a minor detail. Anthony's been busy trying to persuade people to join. He wrote:
During the past year I have privately solicited a few people to be on the board of Directors, to help steer the organization. I have three applications in hand, but more are needed to fill out the seats on the board as described in The Charter.

Maybe he just expects that his three chosen people will be elected by members. He's now needing more people to put their hand up.


Conspiratorial goals


If you think I'm being too harsh and emphasising the conspiracist ideation too much, have a look at some of the "initial goals". I've prefaced them with the underlying denier conspiracy:
  • Mainstream science is "politicized" - To provide an organization that offers an alternative to the highly politicized organizations that exist now.
  • Poor little deniers are muzzled - To provide a voice for those who are not well represented now.
  • Peer review is "politically-motivated interference" - To provide a scientific journal where publications can be made where no politically motivated peer review interference occurs. Papers must be replicable and pass on merit, not on a viewpoint.
  • Evil lurks in every corner - To offer a safe place where ideas may be exchanged and examined without fear of retribution.


Remember, from the denier standpoint, they are allowed to defame scientists, screech "fraud" and "fakery" every time they come across some science that they regard as conflicting with their world view. In the mind of a WUWT denier, if they don't like the evidence and the explanation for what is observed, all they have to do is cry "politics". When they defame they call on "free speech" to protect them. And now they have yet another avenue for nurturing their conspiracies and allow them to bloom and grow in recursive fury. That is, if the secretive open society ever does get off the ground.


Join up, pay up


Oh, and Anthony wants more money from the poor sods who joined up from the beginning. And they haven't been members for 12 months yet. His first call was in September last year, and Anthony wants them to renew their membership already - though they've got nothing for it so far. He hasn't even got a governing body yet, let alone any much-touted journal. At the rate he's going, his members will be lucky to see a journal this side of 2020.

He breathed a sigh of relief and added an update:
thanks to new signups today, the OAS is well past 200 members now.
Should be able to get a board from that lot, assuming he's got 200 full members and not just associate members.


From the WUWT comments


Say What? wants some real denier science:
July 20, 2015 at 8:21 am
I wish you good luck. I want to hear about real science based upon facts and reliable data. Something to counter the phony media science – like the EPA that doesn’t actually have any data on which to base its policies.

A C Osborn wistfully wishes for some capitalised Scientists, Engineers and Organisers:
July 20, 2015 at 8:32 am
Good luck, I hope you can get some real Scientists, Engineers and Organisers to join you.
It would be very refreshing to see some unbiased science.

Sensorman loves the Google (mis)-translation of Anthony's motto:
July 20, 2015 at 9:08 am
“verum in luce” – love it! Joined – hoping for good things to come…

John Shade is a teeny bit miffed at the lack of any communication, let alone open communication, from the openly secretive society. Turns out that "quiet mode" means no communication with members:
July 20, 2015 at 9:29 am
My membership was confirmed on 29th September 2014, and I have had no emails from the organisation since then. Some explanation of the, cough, hiatus would have been appreciated during the intervening months.

Bloke down the pub is more realistic than most:
July 20, 2015 at 10:05 am
Good luck, you’ll need it. 

L. E. Joiner probably doesn't know that bigger and better got to OAS before Anthony - although one OAS went defunct a while back:
July 20, 2015 at 11:03 am
Also, make sure you lock up all the similar domain names and suffixes (.com, .org, .info, .net, .us, etc.) you can. You know the Climatists will be looking for ways to stick in needles and confuse the public.
/Mr Lynn

Ted G is a proud WUWT conspiracy theorist:
July 20, 2015 at 10:52 am
Anthony.
This is sorely needed, given how the so called pillars of respect in the consensus climate community manipulate data, lie and cheat, The fraudsters do it all without shame or fear of repercussions, thanks for a great start.


References and further reading


Lewandowsky, Stephan, John Cook, Klaus Oberauer, Scott Brophy, Elisabeth A. Lloyd, and Michael Marriott. (2015). "Recurrent fury: Conspiratorial discourse in the blogosphere triggered by research on the role of conspiracist ideation in climate denial." Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 3 (1). doi: 10.5964/jspp.v3i1.443. (open access)


From the HotWhopper archives

49 comments :

  1. I predict that at some time in the future there will be an extensive scientific analysis and publication on the era when the use of categorization and labeling of arguments became a major basis of debate.

    marke

    ReplyDelete
  2. Watt Anthony is saying is: 'Climate scientists have taken over climate science research. This is outrageous and must stop.'

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is dangerous territory he's entering into. Lying on a blog about science is one thing but passing off lies as original scientific research is quite another. I think he'll have difficulty attracting papers. OAS will end up as Bob Tisdale's vanity publisher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OAS will end up as Bob Tisdale's vanity publisher.

      Bingo, PG :-)

      Delete
    2. ETA: and every 'paper' Bob writes will be the usual 5000+ words of self-contradicting drivel attributing global warming to heat moving around in various parts of the ocean.

      Something that will be a lot more interesting than the papers themselves, though: who will peer review his papers? Willis? Richard Lindzen? Jose Duartes? ;-)

      Delete
    3. I disagree. If they get round to doing a journal, I think it's going to be a great read. There seem to be enough people submitting awful quality research to journals - all we see are the handful that somehow slip through review (Monckton, Gervais, Humlum, Christopoulos...).

      I've reviewed a truly bizarre paper that involved magically disappearing photons in order to try and deny the greenhouse effect so that global warming could be attributed to other things. That suggests there's more than the weird stuff we see published, and if the OAS journal sticks to its open claims then we should see some outstanding contributions. Dark matter explosions from the ocean are causing global warming? The Sun is made of iron? Gnomes are sneaking out at night to put candles under Stevenson screens?

      I'm excited.

      Delete
    4. Yes, MarkR, when you put it that way... Fawlty Towers only produced 6 episodes, and look how many laughs we still get out of that. With OAS, we could be in for years of 'quality, peer reviewed' entertainment!

      Delete
    5. Fawlty Towers produced two series, each of six episodes, but otherwise I agree with your comment.

      Delete
  4. Anthony could be aiming for a 97% of his own, for example:

    97% of OAS members have never done any research in climate science

    97% of OAS full members are engineers (some even have a degree in engineering)

    97% of OAS associate members engage in conspiracy ideation

    97% of WUWT readers are not members of OAS

    The odds of more than one edition of an OAS journal are 1:97

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. 1) By May next year, he should have filed his first IRS Form 990. That should be interesting.

    2) Some of us actually are familiar with 501(c)(3)s ... and his complaints indeed indicate serious paranoia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "2) Some of us actually are familiar with 501(c)(3)s ... and his complaints indeed indicate serious paranoia"

      Truly. It is a very straight-forward process. The sense of high drama being communicated by Watts is just flat-out weird.

      Delete
  6. My heart goes out to John Shade who seems to want so little in return for his money.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is the emergence of "pajama science" : people sitting at their computers, finding data and bits and pieces of other people's research online, and splodging it together with some favorite memes to make a "paper"

    Pajama scientists need never leave their homes. The don't do field work, never design experiments or launch satellites, never work in labs studying ice cores, seawater samples or biological specimens, never make advances in the physics of atmospheric dynamics, or develop new statistical methods or actually design and build a climate simulation model.

    They don't do the "in the trenches" grunt work of science so it is all much simpler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK then, Morano publishes first. Who's second?
      Anybody?
      SOMEBODY?

      Delete
    2. I scored a Distinction in Marketing (during my MBA). The exam was the last one in a full-time course workload, while also working in a paid job full time. (I only did that for one semester to catch up.) I'd not done any cramming for the subject and was tempted to skip the exam. Then I figured why not go for it. I knew there was no chance of covering the syllabus in the few hours left before the written exam, so what I did was scan the texts and lecture notes for buzz phrases. I then did the exam and peppered all the answers with the 5 Ps of marketing and various other stock phrases I'd picked up, mostly from speed-reading my lecture notes. I could only laugh when I got the result. Took a while for me to believe I'd got away with it not just for a pass, but scored a Distinction.

      I learnt that trick from my sister, who got an A+ in Cinema Studies (IIRC). She filled one of her essays by joining together ideological phrases and quotes that were, in the main, meaningless waffle. She enjoys words (and enjoyed taking the mickey with pompous lecturers).

      Delete
    3. "She filled one of her essays by joining together ideological phrases and quotes that were, in the main, meaningless waffle."

      Now why does this remind me of Richard Dawkins and his essay, published in 'The Devil's Chaplain' and online here?

      Maybe the trigger was Catmando with his line, "We could Sokal him."

      Delete
    4. Exactly what I meant. Since virtually all the denier stuff recycles old, debunked arguments, it might not be too hard to write a "paper" and submit it. But you just know this will be a cronies only journal.

      Delete
    5. Well Catmando,
      How are we going to show which paper is the "Sokal' one? It's bit of a Poe situation here. Total nuttiness vs intended farcical nuttiness. Most of the readers would refuse to believe our paper was a 'Sokal'.

      We would just be trying to discredit an 'important' contribution to Climate Science because it did not agree with what the corrupt establishment's climate scientists.

      As I am sure Sou would say, "Remember Recursive Fury">

      Delete
    6. Well Catmando,
      How are we going to show which paper is the "Sokal' one? It's bit of a Poe situation here. Total nuttiness vs intended farcical nuttiness. Most of the readers would refuse to believe our paper was a 'Sokal'.

      We would just be trying to discredit an 'important' contribution to Climate Science because it did not agree with what the corrupt establishment's climate scientists.

      As I am sure Sou would say, "Remember Recursive Fury">

      Delete
    7. Jrkrideau, I fear you might be right. WUWT already reads like the climate denier version of The Onion.

      Delete
    8. Bert from ElthamJuly 22, 2015 at 8:07 AM

      Surely Sou that is what marketing is? Selling overhyped overpriced useless stuff to people who don't need it or understand it. Your examiners were caught in their own false paradigm. They had to approve of the clear reflection they saw of themselves that you painted with their own words. Bert

      Delete
    9. Bert from ElthamJuly 22, 2015 at 8:33 AM

      Thanks Lionel for the Dawkins Sokal reference. I never understood what post modernism was. Now I know, it is what we Aussies call bullshit.
      I am only a mere experimenter in the dark arts of Physics. We call it reality. Are these bullshit artists sane? Bert

      Delete
    10. It's hard to be sure. But for a few instances of these intellectual giants in action have a look https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fashionable_Nonsense#The_book.27s_thesis

      Delete
  8. Why would anyone block the founding of this organization? It is the best way to show that Anthony Watts is just a useful fool and has no weight, not even among deniers.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I wonder if he is hoping to attract some wealthy patrons. Does he have to reveal who his donors are?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think so, Harry, but I'm not sure about that. Someone from the US might know. I can't imagine he'll get much from big donors. The OAS wouldn't be of any value to major denier lobbyists that I can see. I could be wrong though.

      The OAS website shows he got some seed funding from Stephen and Dr. Mary Graves, which is probably actually from the the Stephen and Mary Graves Family Foundation, not the two individuals.

      Delete
    2. Donors? Donors Trust, Harry. Donors Trust.. I'm sure JM will inform.

      R the Anon

      Delete
    3. A 501(c)(3) does have to disclose it's donors, but like R said -- Donor's Trust...

      Delete
    4. No -- a 501(c)(3) does not have to disclose its donors unless its income comes from a single or small group of donors (such as the Board only). This is done to prevent individuals from becoming self-declared "tax exempt."

      As long as Willard can find enough of his followers to fork over money and claim "membership," he doesn't have to disclose anything except what his form 990 requires. Of course, the line between a small-self selected group and a bona fide charity can get caught up in interpretation and, since I haven't seen him gloat over how many dues paying members he has, he is probably close to that line. When he gets around to filing his 990, it may raise alarm bells with the IRS.

      This is, of course, different from the fact that the individuals have to disclose that they gave money to a 501(c)(3) to get the tax exemption. But that information, of course, is only between the individual and the IRS.

      -- Dennis

      Delete
  10. The OAS existed before even Anthony knew it : there was an annual meeting in 1990 held at a "Great Big Hotel"! Amazing. https://archive.is/eyKgF

    ReplyDelete
  11. Watts' real fear is having to face the fact that the response of virtually all readers of his application will have been 'Anthony who?' I for one would never stand in the way of such a rip-roaring assemblage of self-aggrandizing nonentities, and all funded by credulous rubes! Hoot!

    ReplyDelete
  12. PGJuly 21, 2015 at 3:24 PM
    I think he'll have difficulty attracting papers.
    ----------------------
    No - being an open society he will have to embrace the
    iron sun-ers
    the chem trailers
    the sky-dragonners
    etc.
    The publications should be fun

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had an exchange over on the guardian with someone pushing the views of a fellow named Pierre-Marie Robitaille, who is at Ohio State and is genuinely expert on high-field magnetic resonance imaging, but who has morphed into an all-purpose crank. He thinks the sun is made of liquid metallic hydrogen, and that the cosmic microwave background is emitted by the earth's oceans. He is also (of course!) a climate-science denier.

      Rationalwiki has an article on him, for anyone who wants to keep on on their crankology.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. palindrom.

      It is the old "I reject your reality and substitute my own" syndrome.

      I think that man is popular with the Electric Universe people.

      Delete
    4. Since I'm an astronomer, the Electric Universe people are my all-time favorite cranks. My usual tactic with them is to ask them what force they think dominates planetary motions. I have yet to receive an answer.

      Delete
  13. This strikes me as the scientific-publishing equivalent of building a bamboo control tower and a wooden radio, and calling in vain for Joe Cargo.

    (I know, the analogy has been used before! But it sure fits.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By Richard Feynman no less.

      His 'Lectures on Physics' are still a source of enlightenment and his 'Challenger' study was a masterpiece.

      Delete
    2. As a programmer, I regularly get to see great examples of 'cargo cult programming'.

      My favourite episode of this nature was when some numpty associates of mine were trying to 'debug' a race condition. By putting debug statements into the code for one of the threads, they unwittingly got rid of the race condition they were trying to find. Truly a Schrödinger's cat-like situation ;-)

      Delete
  14. I don't know why Watts wants to start up another journal - there is already a suite of amenable ones available for the poor persecuted Denialati scientists:

    https://archive.is/YWphS

    https://archive.is/8cuDi

    https://archive.is/lCBYG

    https://archive.is/Qtfrv

    ReplyDelete
  15. I find the timing interesting - the (still unpublished) draft 'ground-breaking' paper from Watts was shown to the public for (greatly deserved) criticism in July 2012, just when the OAS was being filed for.

    I suspect the Open Atmospheric Society was an attempt on Watts's part to create a sympathetic publisher for his nonsense. If one of the first papers showing up under the OAS label is the recycling of that horrible draft I'll consider that suspicion confirmed.

    ReplyDelete
  16. There already is an entire society dedicated to amateur fringe science. The Natural Philosophy Alliance has meetings and publishes "papers" on circlons, nucleotopes, ether wind velocity, the Armenian theory of special relativity and ... yes.... climate science, including the "earth endogenous energy theory (sic)"

    There's a good writeup in Slate: "Other Theories of Physics: Amateurs around the world take on the priesthood of mainstream science"

    ReplyDelete
  17. Here's the gigantic roadblock that the IRS put in his way:

    New 1023-EZ Form Makes Applying for 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status Easier; Most Charities Qualify
    http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/New-1023-EZ-Form-Makes-Applying-for-501c3Tax-Exempt-Status-Easier-Most-Charities-Qualify

    ReplyDelete
  18. There is always the well-established Journal of Scientific Exploration. I prefer the old contents format, since you can peruse the article titles of the "dog astrology journal."

    ReplyDelete
  19. Everyone here is being way too optimistic IMO. The journal is a long way down the track if it ever gets there at all. And if it does, it leaves Anthony Watts in a bind. If he publishes the sort of nonsense that he posts on his blog, he'll be a laughing stock of everyone who hears about it, which will bruise his fragile ego (but feed his persecuted hero complex). If he doesn't publish the sort of nonsense he posts on his blog, he'll disappoint all his fans.

    Since it's very unlikely that any published deniers will want to favour his journal (eg Pat Michaels, Judith Curry, Roy Spencer etc and Anthony himself all aim for proper journals), all he's got is the conspiracy theorists and purist deniers. None of his frequent guests have supported his OAS publicly - not Willis Eschenbach, nor Bob Tisdale, nor Christopher Monckton have come out and said they'd join. I don't think any of them have commented on an OAS thread. AFAIK the only people who've supported it who have any sort of reputation at all (albeit a crappy one) are Joe D'Aleo, who's a hard core denier and considered a clown when it comes to climate, and John Coleman, another denier, who doesn't qualify for full membership.

    Some of the problems he'll face include getting an editor who is even half-way competent who'll do the job for next to nix; finding enough people in disciplines ranging from sun worship to sky dragon theories, who are willing to do peer review.

    I've said before that I think Anthony probably created this as a paid job for himself. He often begs for money. In April last year he was looking to get a gig running a fake skeptic society and nobody took the hint. They wanted Christopher Monckton or someone of higher standing than Anthony :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we take the hypothesis that, contrary to his stated aims, all Watts does is about money; then the journal will be an exercise in vanity publishing. It will publish any old garbage that comes with a cheque from the author.

      Perhaps its time to stop using the term 'follower' for the numpties who worship Watts. If he is going to milk them for travel expenses, membership fees and whatever next, the correct term would be 'patsy'.

      Delete
  20. 501(c)(3) covers Private Foundations (PF) and Public Charities (PC)
    PF get tax break, can *only* give to 501(c)(3) PC or foreign equivalents.
    PF are things like Charles Koch Foundation, L&H Bradley, Sarah Scaife, etc.

    Dennis got it right, but there are more details:

    1) 501(c)(3) PF need to report their recipients on their Form 990 PF.
    Donors Trust/Capital Fund (501(c)(3) PC) is a "donor advised trust" that lets them anonymize, i.e., Charles G Koch PF (and other PFs) write big check to DT/DCF, controls the money, but the actual checks to other 501(c)(3) PCs are all written by its CEO, Whitney Ball, so public can't tell where the money actually came from.

    2) A 501(c)(3) PC must disclose substantial donations to the IRS, in a separate section of the Form 990 that is not made public, except by accident. There are calculations to expose overly-concentrated donations, but they are messy. In any case, big donors can get around this. For instance, Charles Koch could give money through {CG Koch F, Claude Lambe F, Donors Trust, Donors Capital} which looks like 4 separate groups. Also, the various allied PFs cross-fund, so the same amount of money looks like it comes separately.
    Sometimes you can find donations via "reverse search" features of Foundation Center, but this DT/DCF route obscures that, especially since many of the grants seem not to be recorded in that database.

    3) Private individuals need to tell IRS of their donations, but are not public.

    4) Companies don't need to make their donations public, although some do, but don't mention amounts. The only reason we ever knew how much ExxonMobil gave was its use of the ExxonMobil Foundation for a while. I always thought that was crazy, since it made gifts trackable ... but they were rounding error in daily profits.

    5) For more, see PDF attached toi Fakery 2.
    pp.8-10 talks about 501(c)(3) issues and potential causes for complaint
    pp.68-76 discusses DONORS, with some updated information beyond the earlier version in February 2012, which is when DONORS really got first exposed.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is Anthony Watts at his best!

    ReplyDelete

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