Nutjob violates parole

Anti-evolutionist and unilateral correspondent Dennis Markuze, harasser of scientists and journalists, has failed to resist the call of the pen despite his recent conviction. John Timmer writes:

Within the last few weeks, several science writers (including Scott Johnson of Ars) started receiving disturbingly familiar messages via Twitter. Oddly, a tweet of mine about NASA's Space Station alert system prompted a response that mentioned both socialism and atheism. It seemed clear that Mabus was back; members of the atheist community had already come to the same conclusion. Fortunately, the Montreal Police also reached that conclusion. Markuze appeared just as bad at covering his tracks as he had been earlier, so the police were able to announce that Markuze has been taken into custody for parole violations.

I'm proud to have been one CC among a great, great many!


  1. I’m not familiar with him, I’m happy to say, unless he also posts insane amounts of bible verses. That seems to be rampant on several sites that I read.

      1. Thanks. I saw that but couldn’t find any real example of his handy-work. I should just consider myself very fortunate. If history is any indicator, it doesn’t seem like this will be the last of his menacing ways.

        1. Random sample here:
          (I think that’s from this parole-breaking streak, not vintage). If you can’t be bothered, or the link dies, it’s your average aggressive stream-of-consciousness mentally-ill word salad:

          since I have wasted almost three years of my life engaged in this propaganda campaign and received close to 1,000,000 hits on my website it becomes necessary to briefly explain why I did all of this:

          1) it was necessary to preserve the legacy and legend of Nostradamus for the next few hundred years. No one *living* will ever forget what I did.

          2) the growing atheist/skeptic movement, around the world in general but in the US in particular, is based upon ABSOLUTE LIES and has NOTHING to offer. It had to be *crushed,* and it was.

          3) and all these *online* confused skeptics & atheists?


          It goes on like that for a while, with liberal (heh) amounts of youtube links (that I haven’t dared to check).

          1. That doesn’t even have any death threats. It was the repeated word for word death threats dozens of times in a thread that really made Mabus Mabus.

          2. True, true. There’s still hints, like the references to what happens when god runs out of patience, phrases like “no one *alive* will doubt”, and lots of “crushing” and “end of” – but indeed, it lacks the explicit threats.

  2. I’m also a proud recipient of threats from Markuze, perhaps the most prolific copy-pasta spam troll since Serdar Argic plagued Usenet (Happy Turkey Day, Zumabot, wherever you are!)

    Markuze is mentally ill and allegedly a substance abuser, so his violating parole — like his potential to take his threats offline — was always a matter of “when” and not “if.” Now he can discuss God, Nostradamus, and Depeche Mode to his heart’s content with fellow inmates from his padded cell.

    1.  But Markuze doesn’t use a bot, right? And it seems as if the person or people behind “Argic” were never identified.

      1. Markuze didn’t create a fully automated bot, but he used keyword scanning tools and scripts similar to the ones incorporated into Zumabot, with similar results (e.g. his anti-atheist screeds would appear in comment threads about 80s music). The copy-pasta mix-and-match text was also similar in form to Argic/Mutlu/Zumabot’s Armenian genocide denial spam.

        Markuze used a lot of automation to do mass postings and let his crazy energy fill in for his lack of technical chops (Makuze claimed to be a genius hacker, but I’ve seen newbie script kiddies who do better work covering their tracks).

        Zumabot was also created by someone, probably a Turkish grad student called Ahmet Cosar. It’s not clear if he actually ran it — it just was let loose and ran on a server. As with Markuze, the bot’s human operator(s?) would occasionally drop into a thread and drop ridiculous personal insults at the beginning of the copy-pasta before running off.

        1. I’m not sure I agree that Markuze used automation.  I’ve been observing him for quite some time, and many of his posting streaks bear hallmarks of simple cut-and-paste.  He’d occasionally cut off his own taglines right in the middle of a long series of identical posts, for instance.

          As the guy who supplied the forensic data to the police both times he was arrested, I do agree he did a poor job covering his tracks.

          1. I’m talking more about the keyword searches and mix-and-match post building.

            His garbage would sometimes pop up in forums that had nothing to do with atheism, much like Zumabot’s would pop up on Thanksgiving posts. This indicates that he would run some sort of platform-wide searches (e.g. on for his hobbyhorse terms, dive into the forum in question to dump his screed without really looking at the thread, and then jump out to continue his “work.” I agree that the actual act of posting wasn’t automated.

            The cut-off taglines you mention also may be artifacts of an automated post-building system that reaches a character limit — it may be as simple as a MS Word macro. I’ve also always suspected Markuze’s asterisks might be more than stylistic tics, and that they’re separators for chunks of text that are mixed-and-matched to give the posts some semblance of variety. Spammers do this all the time in an effort to avoid having their posts caught in filters, but lose coherence and flow in process.

            Markuze was not as sophisticated as Cosar. The automation that fueled Zumabot’s comparable productivity was compensated for in large part by obsessive insanity and likely drugs. But there are signs that he did use some (though admittedly not “a lot of”) automation tools in a crude way. Even a drugged-out maniac has a limit on his time resources.

  3. I’ve never been a target of Mabus but I know a few folks who have been, and I’ve seen his copy/paste work on various FB pages back prior to his first arrest.

    The guy has issues and needs help.

    1. He’s one of those guys who, while we acknowledge that he needs help, is also very dislikable and menacing. He’s the on-line equivalent of the aggressive, mentally ill neighbourhood beggar who rants and calls people nasty names.

      The authorities are aware of his mental health issues. Last time they nabbed Markuze, the judge sent him to hospital for observation rather than to the slammer. The same will likely happen this time, although this time it looks like he threatened a cop among others.

      1. One wonders if Markuze’s mother will ever pull the wool from over her own eyes re: her son’s issues. She was in total denial last time.

        1. I remember. People were very kind, but she wouldn’t listen.

          It’s a horrible dilemma for a parent to have a mentally ill child who breaks the law, especially a child as unpleasant as Markuze. Even two arrests might not be enough to pull her out of denial, but if the judge declares him non compos mentis and asks her to sign committment papers it’s going to be awful. I feel sorry for her.

          1.  I’m torn between feeling sympathetic toward her and remembering the case of Laurie Dann, whose parents allegedly neglected to get her the psychiatric help that she needed while helicoptering in to save her from the consequences of her actions (although the Wikipedia article does note that her dad tried to convince her to voluntarily admit herself as an inpatient at one point).

          2. On the other end, there’s the woman who turned in her son because he was planning a theatre shooting at a showing of the latest “Twilight” movie.

            Either way, these are wrenching decisions for parents, especially those with adult children.

    2. I’ve been on his sh*t list before, and I guess now he’ll be happy to know I am a Nostrodamian or whatever!

      He’s one of those people who does need help, but so long as he doesn’t want it he’ll probably have trouble not doing or saying things that end up getting him in prison.

      But then again if we started confining the mentally ill…

  4. Isn’t “unilateral correspondent” usually used to describe a war reporter who is not embedded in the forces of one side or the other ?

    May I suggest monomaniacal monographer or egregious epistolist ?

  5. Well in his own defense he is proof that not all life evolves.

    Using the internet to condemn all science, nice touch of irony there.

  6. “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all” -Noam Chomski

    1. Yes, because if we don’t allow the mentally ill to repeatedly threaten to chop off the heads of atheists, then we’re clearly living under an autocracy worthy of Stalin or Pol Pot.

      1. Sorry but freedom of speech is black and white. You either have it or you don’t. There’s no gray area there. 
        Seeing someone get prosecuted for writing something on the internet is not something to be happy about. Even if the person in question is saying things you don’t like.

        Would boingboing be writing an article with the same tone had the guy been attacking the hard-right or creationists?

        I was clearly not suggesting that america is anything like 1970’s Cambodia. Not sure how you came to that conclusion. 

        1. Horseapples. Freedom of speech has borders – and threatening people is one of those borders. Especially when you do it a lot, to a number of different people.

          If all he was doing was spam-bombing crazy rants, people would just shrug him off. Once it gets to personal threats, it’s obvious that whatever mental illness at work here is just getting worse, and it won’t get fixed without intervention.

          He’s allowed to believe whatever he wants, so long as he does not infringe on other’s freedoms. Stop being so absolutist – freedom of speech is not a religious talisman, but a principle to be balanced against the common good.

          Or would you seriously advocate waiting until he goes further down the path we have seen time and time again, and turn into another Unabomber?

          1. Sorry but we are clearly not going to agree on this. My belief remains that there are no “borders” on free speech. It is absolute. I am no way suggesting that the mentally ill should not be treated. If the guy is sick then he needs help not prosecution.

            Are you suggesting that if people are aloud to write whatever they like on the internet the next thing you know they’ll be bombing universities?  May be if the US censored its mail and prosecuted every one who wrote anything crazy then Kaczynski would never have set those bombs?

          2. “My belief remains that there are no “borders” on free speech.”

            Death threats are not a protected speech, sorry.

            “Are you suggesting that if people are aloud to write whatever they like on the internet the next thing you know they’ll be bombing universities?”People who make death threads are much more likely to go through with them, yes.

            “Would boingboing be writing an article with the same tone had the guy been attacking the hard-right or creationists?”

            Don’t be an idiot, we would support law-enforcement against anyone with these psychopathic tendencies.

        2. Threatening to murder people is not “saying things you don’t like,” that’s a criminal action.  Even if we’re being absolutist, it is not, nor has it ever been, in the category of protected speech.

        3. Sorry but freedom of speech is black and white. You either have it or you don’t. There’s no gray area there.

          I was clearly not suggesting that america is anything like 1970’s Cambodia

          You seem to be uncertain about that.

          Would boingboing be writing an article with the same tone had the guy been attacking the hard-right or creationists?

          Probably boingboing wouldn’t be writing an article about him at all, because they wouldn’t even know he existed.

          Screaming fire in the theatre is not protected by free speech – either you cause a panic and/or false alarm to the fire department (if believed) or people get used to idiots screaming fire and don’t take it seriously when there IS a fire. Death threats are not protected for the same reason – you either cause a dangerous panic and waste of resources or you produce a “cried wolf” situation so death threats from people who actually mean death get overlooked. Neither is good.

          1. Firstly Pol Pot and the khmer rouge are well known for their part in the deaths of 3 million cambodians  Not for their restrictive policies on free speech. Its just not relevant to this discussion at all. 

            Secondly do you think that people don’t scream fire in the theatre because its against the law or because they know its a shity thing to do? 

          2. The point is that some people don’t understand that it’s a shitty and, more to the point, dangerous thing to do. Others, psychopaths, do understand and do it anyhow. That particular limit on free speech rights is there to dissuade them.

        4. “Would boingboing be writing an article with the same tone had the guy been attacking the hard-right or creationists?”

          Would answering that question be anything but a support of your presumptions that BB were attacking this guy?

          I got the impression that Rob, personally, had been impacted by this mans illegal online activities. In that light, is Rob attacking? Or rebuffing an attack?

        5. He wasn’t prosecuted just for writing something on the Internet. He was prosecuted for uttering threats of physical violence against numerous people over the course of several years.

          Even so, for a long time, his many targets refrained from contacting the police because they’re strong advocates of free speech (and even stronger advocates of mocking lunatic free speech, no matter what the ideological position).

          It was only after Markuze showed up in person and uninvited at an event for high-profile atheists that people started making complaints to the police, because his menacing behaviour was clearly escalating and pouring over into the real world.

        6. Sorry but freedom of speech is black and white.

          Then you won’t object to me expressing my right to free speech by sending him your e-mail address.

          1. No I don’t want some nutter emailing me death threats. But i don’t want him to get sent to prison if he does. Its really not that radical a position is it? Do you see that I can dislike/hate things people say or write but support their right to do it? If you were to encourage someone to send me hate mail that would make you an asshole but I wouldn’t want you to be imprisoned for it.

            Do you see that its possible to object to the shitty things people say to one another without wanting the government to shut them up?

          2. But it’s my free speech right to say whatever I want, including transmitting your contact information.

          3. You’re assuming all parties involved want Markuze to go to jail.

            They do not.

            They all understand that he needs help – especially after the last go-around, when details about him and his life/situation came to light. And the only way he’s going to get that help, it seems, is to get the authorities involved. Markuze’s faimly certainly isn’t going to do anything – his mother (who he lives with) was completely oblivious to her son’s troubles the last time.

          4. “No I don’t want some nutter emailing me death threats. ”

            Why would he do that? He knows it’s wrong to do that.

  7. Antinous / Moderator “But it’s my free speech right to say whatever I want, including transmitting your contact information.”

    This is the exact same statement you made in your first comment.  Yes I believe it is you right to say/write whatever you want. Its also my right to point out that you doing so would make you an asshole. How are you not understanding this? And why do you keep threatening me this way? Is part of your position as a moderator to threaten to send users private details to mentally ill people if they express an opinion you don’t like?

    btw the reply button isn’t showing for your comment.

      1. Really, your going to move from threats to insulting my intelligence? I am disappointed that someone that represents my favourite web site would be so rude and dickish. 

        A discussion on free speech is interesting to me. Threats and name calling, not so much.

        1. He’s insulting your assertion, not your intelligence. Does he not have a right to challenge an assertion?

          1. The implication was that I hold simple minded views. Does that not suggest that I am simple minded?

            Yes he has the right to challenge my views, but calling them stupid isn’t going to achieve anything.

          2. Saying that “free speech” is “free speech” and should not be clarified or ever defined any differently or expounded upon, no exceptions is the definition of simple-minded. Your discomfort with this is irrelevant.

          3. It suggests that intelligent people, geniuses even, can hold completely idiotic views. It’s one of the defining characteristics of the GOP party establishment, for example.

            He’s calling this particular view simple-minded, as in simplistic, which is often the case with black-and-white formulations. And he’s correct.

        2. I’m using free speech. Not that the threat is anything other than rhetorical, but your whole contribution to this thread IS that threats are free speech. That should thrill you. You should tilt your head back, pour it on your chest and rub it in. Preferably in slow motion.

          1. wow. How many times do I need to say that I don’t like threats. I am not thrilled by threats, I don’t like rudeness and I don’t like people who want to yell fire in the theater. Is that clear yet? It does not follow that I should agree that laws are needed to stop these things. This is a simple concept that you are utterly failing to grasp.

          2. You know who those laws are for? Not you. They’re for sociopaths who think it would be fun to yell fire in the theatre. And they’re for deranged people who don’t understand it’s wrong to make threats. Not everyone is the paragon of reason and virtue that you are.

          3. I suppose because YOU PERSONALLY do not like abusive misbehavior, that nobody will stalk and harass and threaten death on another. 


            Or are you just being obtuse (or insincere) again?

    1. Black and white, freemanf00. Stop oppressing Antinous!

      I really don’t see why you’re worried about his sharing your address with Markuze, anyhow. Even if you were to break your own rule and ask Markuze to abridge his free-speech rights by stopping his e-mails to you, absent government intervention a guy like Markuze will still do the rational thing. Right?

      1. I feel like I am not making my position clear enough here. I don’t want people to be rude/ threatening to me or anyone else. I’d like it very much if everyone would be nice to one another. I just don’t think it should be against the law. They’re the kind of laws that see people getting custodial sentence for wearing offensive t-shirts.

        I am not actually worried about my details being sent to that guy. I don’t think Antinous would really do that. Also Markuze lives an awfully long way from here. People can still be annoying from that far away, granted, but not genuinely threatening. I just object to threat of it. Its inappropriate and childish.

        1. I feel like I am not making my position clear enough here.

          Yeah, you are. You’re just coming off like Al Pacino screaming, “ATTICA! ATTICA!” in Dog Day Afternoon.

          They’re the kind of laws that see people getting custodial sentence for wearing offensive t-shirts.

          And this is why you come off like that; it’s a ridiculous false equivalency.

          1. It seems to me that having failed to change my mind about freedom of expression by basically saying “Yeah, well how would YOU like it?”. Your resorting to mocking me. If you have something interesting to say about why freedom of speech should not be absolute then I’d like to hear it. If you’ve got nothing interesting to say on the subject then, maybe you shouldnt have entered this discussion in the first place.

          2. Your analogies are false. He wasn’t arrested for wearing offensive outfits. He was arrested for a long campaign of stalking and harrassment. Such behavior is “free speech”, but also massively abusive and hostile.

          3. freemanf00, laws like this are not aimed at you, they’re last resorts aimed at mentally deranged people, people with extremely poor impulse control, and sociopaths. Compared to other crimes they’re nuisances to enforce, so as a society we’re reluctant to use them unless someone has gone very far over the line, usually by stalking or or harassment or trespassing.

            Laws against “uttering threats,” in other words, are not about the “uttering” but about the “threats,” which at a certain point become more than words. By your black-and-white formulation, laws against blackmail and extortion would be prohibited.

    1. Thanks for both your hard work and the article. It and the preceding post in the series are well worth reading. With any luck the judge at his next hearing will get Markuze the help he needs and keep him away entirely from the Internet.

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