Harold W. Vadney III is a wannabe translator who lies about his credentials. In August 2007, I exposed him on the now-defunct Network of Independent Linguists’ Discussion Forum. He has now set up a blog devoted to telling lies about me and others. This is my reply. To comment or for further information write to Richard_Benham_AU-StopVadneysLies[at]yahoo.com.

Monday, 28 January 2008

An apology? That’s a start....

I note that Mr Vadney has made an apology to his readers (both of us) for his recent somewhat unseemly outbursts. At least that is a step in the right direction. However, now that Mr Vadney has calmed down a little, I would ask him to consider, calmly, the following.

  • Mr Vadney makes the following statement:
    I am a very kind and considerate person but when faced with unashamed stupidity and recalcitrant arrogance [I only said he’d calmed down a little!] even when the malfeasors are confronted with proof of error or falsity it becomes annoying and frustrating.

    I assume I am supposed to be one of those unashamedly stupid and recalcitrantly arrogant “malfeasors”.

  • Let’s have a look at Mr Vadney’s “proof”. As far as I can see, this “proof” consists of his unsupported assertion of the existence of several documents:

    1. A certificate from the IoL, dating from 1981, to the effect that Mr Vadney was elected a Member, or Associate Member, of the IoL;

    2. A certificate from the RSA, dating from 1979, to the effect that Mr Vadney was elected a Fellow of the RSA;

    3. A letter from the Department of the Army confirming Mr Vadney’s medals.

  • Let’s assume, for the moment, that all these documents exist and are genuine. Now let’s consider their relevance:

    1. The certificate from the IoL may or may not confirm that Mr Vadney was entitled to use the abbreviation “MIL” in 1981 and into 1982. If it mentions the word “Associate”, however, as it does in the account Mr Vadney gave of it in the IoL forum, it only entitled him to the designation “AIL”. In either case, of his own admission, Mr Vadney allowed his (full or associate) membership to lapse, and was not entitled to either designation in 2007, when he claimed to be a Member on his campaign website, as well as his TranslatorsCafe.com and ProZ.com profiles. So I was right in my assertion that he had falsely claimed to be a Member of the IoL.

    2. Again, assuming Mr Vadney was elected a Fellow of the RSA in 1979, by his own admission, he did not maintain his membership, and so was not entitled to call himself a Fellow or use the designation FRSA. However, he did so on his campaign websites and on his ProZ.com and TranslatorsCafe.com profiles until August 2007, when I published my exposé. Again, I was right to do so.

    3. As for Mr Vadney’s Army decoration, he seems to be under a bit of a delusion. I did not mention this medal on the NIL forum in August 2007. The forum was closed down, thanks to Mr Vadney’s intervention, just as Scott Waldman’s article was about to be published. It was in this article that I first learned of the issue about the medal. Mr Waldman did not get the information from me; he claimed in the article to have a letter from the relevant authority to the effect that Mr Vadney’s medal had been revoked. I find it extraordinary to suppose that he would have fabricated this. If Mr Vadney has a beef with anyone, I would say it is with the record-keeping authority for giving Mr Waldman the false information, assuming that’s what happened. I certainly had no rôle in it.

  • Mr Vadney has made allegations about the manner in which I obtained records of his degree status. I do not intend to enter into any discussion of that here. It is a red herring. The fact remains that Mr Vadney claimed to have an MA from SUNY at Albany, and he did not and does not. The CVs and other documents in which he made this claim have been archived by neutral third parties and can be produced in court. So too, his SUNY records can be obtained on subpoena. The question of how I came to know about Mr Vadney’s degree status is not relevant to the issue of defamation. Either he got his MA or he didn’t.

  • Another red herring is the claim that my information about Mr Vadney’s degrees was “inaccurate”. The “inaccuracy” does not relate to the absence of an MA degree; it relates to the title of Mr Vadney’s bachelor’s degree: it was listed as BS rather than BA. So what? A BA degree is no more an MA than is a BS.

In view of all this, Mr Vadney must realize that he cannot possibly win a defamation suit against me. On the other hand, Mr Vadney has made numerous defamatory statements about me, attacking my honesty and my mental health, accusing me of lies, fraud and defamation, and questioning my academic credentials. None of these allegations is accompanied by any evidence, and none has any substance. So Mr Vadney might be well advised to publish a comprehensive apology and retraction, in order to reduce the head of damages against him should I decide to sue him for defamation.

He might also consider his position in relation to the defendants in his ill-considered court action. He has a lot more to apologize to them for than to me.

1 comment:

Scott Horne said...

I too am contemplating legal action against Mr Vadney for his defamation and harassment of me. Antisocial types must not be allowed to harm good people.

About Me

I am a professional translator in the combinations French>English and German>English. I hold qualifications from the University of Adelaide (BA, DipCompSc), the Australian National University (LittB), the University of Geneva (Certificat de spécialisation en linguistique), and the the UK-based Institute of Linguists (Diploma in Translation for both my language combinations). I am an implacable opponent of bullshit in all its forms.