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Sunday 5 May 2013

The Root of All Evil Goes Too Far? - An Investigation

I know that I have been a bit quiet on the blogging front of late, but even so I have remained busy keeping an eye on the absurd antics of the health zealots.  A month ago somebody created a parody account on Twitter to mock Carl Phillips.  It came to my attention because that somebody followed me on Twitter.  Parody accounts are a dime-a-dozen on Twitter and sometimes they can be funny, but as a general unwritten rule you parody and make fun of the person only -- you should not involve the subject's family. Ever. Not only is that incredibly poor taste, it's just fucking wrong.  The somebody parodying Carl Phillips broke that rule with his very first tweet by mentioning and including an image of the real Carl Phillips's child (note: I've blurred the image of the child):

So when I saw the above tweet, I decided that I would never follow that evil fucker's account and I didn't want it to follow me.  I didn't block the account, merely forced the account to unfollow me. The reason I did not block this bastard's parody account is because I knew someday I might have to tweet to it (today is that day), and if the account is blocked, Twitter won't let you tweet back and forth. 

Despite my beliefs about what is and what isn't acceptable parody material, I decided to ignore it even though I had a good idea who created the parody and why they created the account.  A month ago, I saw little point in bringing any exposure to this cunt's hateful account on Twitter.  But the shitbag decided to follow me again, and that is why I decided to confirm my suspicions about who is behind this travesty of a parody and to write this blog post today.

Here's the thing. Everybody has a unique "writing style." I'm not talking about handwriting analysis (although that's a related discipline). We all have peculiar habits of speech, preferred word choices, grammar issues, punctuation usage, etc.  Do you prefer the Oxford comma or not?  Do you use single quotation marks or double quotation marks? Do you prefer certain abbreviations or writing short cuts? And so on. It is likely that you are not even aware of your own writing style. But you do have one, as do I. Indeed, I began this paragraph with one of my oft-used habits of speech: "Here's the thing."  I also like to begin sentences with a conjunction (often considered naughty), or I overuse the word "indeed."   Sometimes I confuse tenses or slip into a passive voice writing style because I often attempt to write as though I am speaking to a person in real life, and my real life speech is grammatically lazy.

It is not difficult to discern a person's writing style. Simply, you will need to pay close attention to how things were written over many samples of writing and then look for patterns.  By using this method, I believe that I have deduced precisely who created the Carl Phillips account. Whilst I cannot prove conclusively that my deduction is correct without having access to Twitter's IP logs or this somebody's computer, I feel about 95% confident that I am right.

Who is it?

I believe that Professor Simon Chapman, a.k.a. The Root of All Evil, created the parody account of Carl Phillips. What follows are the reasons why I believe this.

As of this writing, the parody account has tweeted twelve times.  This is a small sample, but it is enough. Here are the tweets in reverse-chronological order:

Click to enlargify image
* * *

Now, the first tweet in the list, which was tweeted today, is incredibly informative and interesting.  It reads:
I know there are "completists" out there who want to collect everything I write. See end of #onanism #vanity
There are two important items in that tweet to notice.

The first item is the hashtagged word "#onanism."  This is an obscure word. I would think that few people know what it means.  You almost never hear anybody use this word in everyday speech, and rarely do you see anyone write it. It is uncommon. There may be a good reason for that, however, because the word either means "masturbation" or "withdrawal of the penis in sexual intercourse so that ejaculation takes place outside the vagina; coitus interruptus" so not exactly something you're going to hear in grandma's knitting circle, or any circle for that matter.  In the above tweet's context, I presume that the intended meaning is "masturbation."  But Simon Chapman knows what this word means; he has used it before.

Here on the Watching The Deniers blog, one of the Root of All Evil's favourite hangouts, is a comment by Professor Simon Chapman -- note the highlighted text and the bit that follows that says "not her words," which can only be interpreted as "Simon Chapman chose the wording 'onanistic rubbish'":

Not convinced?  OK, how about this tweet by Professor Chapman where he attacks an anti-windfarm advocate:

I checked the web page mentioned -- not one instance of "onanist" or "onanism" or "onan-anything" appears on that page. I also checked @stopthesething's tweets, and out of 450 total tweets at the time of this writing, not one tweet by @stopthesethings uses the words "onanist" or "onanism."  So we have another instance of Simon Chapman choosing the wording to describe an individual as a masturbator. I am beginning to believe that The Root of All Evil touches himself each time he has occasion to use any of these "onan-something" words.  

Of course two instances of using "onanism" or "onanist" proves nothing. So we need to find more writing style patterns.

The second thing to notice in the tweet above is the use of double quotation marks to emphasise a word on Twitter (note: you cannot italicise or bold words on Twitter, you must find another means for emphasis). In this case it is the word "completists."  Some people prefer to use single quotation marks for emphasis, others prefer to capitalise a word, and still others prefer to surround a word with asterisks like so -- *completists* -- to show only but a few ways one can employ emphasis on social media that lacks text formatting. The use of double quotation marks proves nothing, it is simply a marker or an indicator of one's preference, or more precisely, of one's style. The Root of All Evil is consistent in his use of double quotes in tweets for word emphasis when he's being nasty or for other ad hominem attacks on people, as shown in the following three examples (there are many, many more examples than only these):

Twitter link

Twitter link

Twitter link

Out of 2,037 tweets from Simon Chapman's tweet history (excluding retweets of others'), he used double quotes 253 times (12.4%).  Obviously, not all of those double quotes usages are for word emphasis, but the majority certainly are.

So in only one tweet we now have two examples of Chapman's preferred writing style -- word choice and punctuation style (double quotes) for emphasis.  Bear with me, though, we are not done yet.

* * *

Let's look at another peculiar quirk of the parody account's writing style. Out of the twelve tweets, two of them use a shortened ellipsis (which should be three dots "...") by using only two dots as so: " .. ":
Anna Gilmore is a pretend economist, unlike me..I've never published a single thing in the dismal science, but don't let that fool you (

and this tweet (which I will cover again below):
Going to THR ball soon as Emperor with No Clothes. Hope my pony tail grows long enough to preserve my modesty. But hey .. not into modesty (
Simon Chapman, The Root of All Evil, uses this odd shortened ellipsis at least 40 times. Here are few examples, and please note that there are at least 37 more tweets where this quirky convention for ellipses is used:

Twitter link

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Well, even I have to admit that this is not incontrovertible proof ... yet.

* * *

Let's find another habit of speech.  Looking over Simon Chapman's tweet, it seems he loves to use the word "Guess" to start a sentence, almost always when being hateful and putting other people down. And will you look at this? The parody account does, too:
Guess who cites my research most? It's ME! (
And a few of Chapman's tweets:

Twitter link

Twitter link

* * *

I know some of you may not be convinced yet. To be honest, I couldn't stand up and say for certain that the parody account was definitely Simon Chapman's by this point.  No, I needed to find more examples.  So I did.

The abbreviation of the word "committee" to "c'tee" for instance.  Here is the parody account's second tweet:
Hope RJR doesn't publicize my membership of BAT's scientific c'tee. Doing best to make out CASSA is grass roots pure  (
Here is one by Simon Chapman:

Twitter link

Mere coincidence? It might be if it were not for all of the other coincidences listed above.

* * *

How about this, then?  The use of the words "pretty much."  The parody account's profile reads:
Parody account of Professor CarlVPhillips, self-declared & undisputed world authority on tobacco control & pretty much anything really.
Here's a tweet by Chapman:

Twitter link
* * *

Do you need more? Fine. In an earlier tweet I already covered above, here's a literary reference to the Emperor's New Clothes (or No Clothes):

Parody account:
"Going to THR ball soon as Emperor with No Clothes. Hope my pony tail grows long enough to preserve my modesty. But hey .. not into modesty" (
From Chapman's account:
Twitter link

* * *
What? Did you think we were finished?  Hell, no. Here's another coincidence: using the words "snout" and "trough" (albeit a common expression, it serves to show that Chapman uses it, too):

@Dick_Puddlecote what sort of a retainer are you on, Bigus Dickus? Keen to get my snout deeper in the tobacco trough. Can we share notes? (
Twitter link
* * *

I don't know about you, but I think those are quite a few "coincidences" in only twelve tweets from the parody account.  Still, it is all circumstantial. There's no "hard evidence" that Simon Chapman, The Root of All Evil, is the shitbag behind the Carl Phillips parody account.  But the patterns in writing style certainly appear to the be same as Chapman's.  If only I had another dozen tweets from the parody account then I could be more certain.

There is something else to cover. Every crime needs a "motivation" and when someone goes on trial the prosecution presents its theory to explain the defendant's motivation for committing the crime.  So I'm going to present a theory as to why I believe Simon Chapman created the parody account to attack and defame Carl Phillips.

I'm going to call it "The Butt-hurt theory."  Yes, our little Root of All Evil is thinner-skinned than he would like everyone to believe. Chapman is the kind of guy who posts up a link to a PDF containing quotes from his "critics" on his Twitter profile, because he probably feels that some people were unfairly criticising him, to wit:

What a jerk!

But I think the reason that Simon Chapman created the parody account of Carl Phillips is because Chapman believes that Phillips created this parody account of Chapman, @SlMONCHAPMAN.

Loving the Kim Jong Un background.
And the reason I think that Chapman believes that is because of this tweet by the real Carl Phillips:

Twitter link
I think this tweet made The Root of All Evil very suspicious indeed. In fairness, the "whoever you are" could be interpreted as a sly wink of some kind. But I personally do not believe that the real Carl Phillips created the fake Simon Chapman parody account. I say this because Carl asked me over a month ago if I knew who created the Chapman parody, and I truly doubt he would ask me that in order to create some kind of misdirection or trickery to cover himself.  Why would he? We're on the same side of the debate. I am certain that Carl would have told me if he had created the parody.

But Simon Chapman doesn't know who created the Chapman parody (nor do I, for that matter), which has been silent on Twitter for almost a month, so Chapman can only surmise like the rest of us. And I think the Root of All Evil got butt-hurt that someone would dare to create a parody of himself and retaliated by creating a parody of Phillips. To be honest, using "onanism" is the big giveaway. Nobody uses that word. Chapman slipped up there.

Nevertheless, if Professor Simon Chapman is in fact the Phillips parody account, and I have every reason to believe that he is based on everything I have shown you above, then it makes you wonder all sorts of things.

Like:  Why is a supposedly "respected" and tenured academic at the University of Sydney attempting to defame another individual through a shabby parody account on Twitter?  Surely a man in Chapman's position would be able to rise above such pettiness.

Oh, wait. No, the Root of All Evil is all about the pettiness.

He always has been

The real mystery is not whether Simon Chapman is behind the Carl Phillips parody, a vile and hateful account on Twitter that stoops so low as to attack and degrade an innocent, newborn baby in the very first tweet.  The real mystery is why anyone bothers to listen to such an awful, despicable human being?  And with all of the hateful, petty things the Root of All Evil has done (and will continue to do), why does he still have a job at the University of Sydney? And should he continue to be educating our young adults with his brand of filthy hatred towards others?

I cannot know the answers to those questions. I do know what I think and believe.  I'd be ashamed to be an alumnus of the University of Sydney, and I'd never consider sending my children to a school that condones of hate campaigns by one of its professors. Every day that Chapman remains a professor at that institution is another day the university is further tarnished.

Perhaps it does not matter what I think.  But I wonder:  What do you believe?  Does the evidence above convince you?  Has the Root of All Evil gone too far?

UPDATE (Monday, 6 May 2013)

If the above evidence isn't enough, then here's another "coincidence" with the abbreviation "supplt" that I missed the first time around:

Parody account:
All authors of @TC_BMJ's Endgame supplt are liars & jokes! Only I possess TheTruth. So why am I in the wilderness?(
Simon Chapman's:
Twitter link

And here's something else to consider. Both the parody account and Simon Chapman occasionally tweet from an iPad (not all the time, only sometimes) as you can see from the two images below: