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.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Losing it (again)....

There are various degrees of losing it. The Vadney is never really in close contact with reality, but he’s just flipped completely again.

Werner Patels (again)

“There is no spat or dispute with Mr Patels”, he tells us (sounds cozy). Well Mr Patels has just (quite understandably) threatened to bring charges of criminal libel against him.... [Note: A comment on my blog from Mr Patels to that effect arrived while I was drafting this. I wrote the preceding sentence on the basis of information on Mr Patels’s own blog.] Apparently this is such an everyday occurrence for the Vadney that it doesn’t even count as a dispute.

The IoL (again)

Now here’s a beauty:

Because if Mr Benham truely [sic] received any true [sic!] facts from anyone, but especially from the Chartered Institute of Linguists, for example, he would know that the very diploma awarded to Harold W. Vadney reads explicitly: "Having satisfied the qualifying requirements prescribed by the council ... was elected a Member of the Institute of Linguists". It's in black and white. End of story.

Now compare that with the following, posted on the IoL “Membership” forum by the very Vadney, before he got kicked off for his persistent irrelevant abusive attacks on various people, including some who weren’t even on that forum (his neighbours, again):

I sat the then IoL examinations in London in about 1981 and received the certificate 'Associate of the IoL' etc.

So what happened here? Did the Vadney receive two certificates? Did he get elected Associate and Member at the same time? If he really was a Member, why has it taken until now, over four months after my exposé, to mention this certificate? In any case, the Vadney has not (yet) retracted his admission that he stopped paying his dues over a quarter of a century ago, thus renouncing his claim to any form of affiliation.

Mrs Catherine Johnstone (who??)

And then we have the typical Vadney red herring:

A person accosted by Benham and Horne as having "falsified her credentials" makes the very apropos [sic] point that Benham [and Horne] know of her only by her married name. Her degrees were earned under her maiden name! But that is of no concern to Horne and Benham. She's been publicly labeled a charalatan by Benham and Horne because Benham and Horne with all of their "resources" could not verify her claimed credentials.

I suppose I’ll have to repost that exposé somewhere. (I’ll dig it up and post it as a comment.) In it, I make quite clear that we were unable to check most of this woman’s claims precisely because she promoted herself under her married name. I made it quite clear that, implausible as her other claims were, the démenti was only concerned with her claim to have a PhD from Queen Mary College (which is actually a secondary school, but as she mentioned the University of London explicitly, I charitably assumed she meant Queen Mary, University of London). It is easy to track down successful PhD dissertations, and I was able to establish that there was no successful PhD thesis by anyone with this woman’s first name for many years either side of her alleged PhD graduation year, none ever on anything remotely resembling her alleged topic, none in her alleged field of study for several years either side of her alleged PhD year,.... Despite having been advised of the forum thread some months ago, she has made no attempt to refute the claims, or even deny them. This is actually the most intelligent course of action, assuming she is a fraud, but is completely inexplicable otherwise.

General bluster (again)

Last let me address that well-known old stand-by of those who have long since lost an argument: “You’re not qualified to say that!” He takes up this tired old theme several times; here’s just one example:

While Mr Benham, Mr Horne and Mr Patels have made numerous presumptive statements on various translators' credentials and their abilities, Benham and Horne have no credible qualifications, credentials, accreditations, or authorities whatsoever to make any statements on anyone else's credentials or competencies whatsoever. Who, may we ask ourselves, appointed Benahm [sic] and Horne or Patels to the examination panel?

Well, Haroldkins, you don’t need to be a meteorologist to know when you’re being rained on, and you don’t need a PhD in biochemistry to know that shit stinks. And you’re full of shit, and you stink to high heaven of it!


Richard D. Benham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard D. Benham said...

Here is an excerpt from my first contribution to the NIL forum thread about Mrs Catherine Johnstone, initiated by Scott Horne:

If I might be permitted to return to the topic, whatever the name of the college, I am sure its library would contain all successful theses of people who did their PhD there.

As this woman, popularly known as “Ms Ed”, uses the name of Mrs Johnstone, and it is likely that she was Miss Smith or something in 1974, the best one can do is check for PhD theses written by someone called Catherine. So I just did this, and found 9 of them, one dating as far back as 1910, but none between 1972 (Westhead, Catherine Jane:
The effect of moderators and scavengers on the chemistry of recoil tritium atoms) and 2000 (Lewis, Lucy Catherine: British Boethianism, 1380-1436).

Turning to this woman’s CV, I observe that she has something in common with Master Vadney. Both of them include an extraordinary number of stints of study and high-status jobs, ranging in her case from “President of the Republic’s personal interpreter” to “
Directeur de cabinet puis Secrétaire général du Centre Mondial Informatique et Ressources Humaines (1986-1987)”. The range of jobs and studies is both far too great to be plausible and far greater than necessary or even desirable for getting work. Both Vadney’s and Johnstone’s CVs read more like a list of unfulfilled ambitions than a serious pitch for work.


[Now-defunct NIL Discussion Forum, 16 August 2007]

Scott Horne said...

Back when that discussion was current, I independently checked for the doctoral dissertation and found nothing. My investigation did not require the person's maiden name or married name; I searched through the complete set of dissertations from the university in question over a broad period including the years in which she allegedly attended, and there was nothing of conceivable relevance.

If I am wrong, Mrs Johnstone should be able to provide the title of her dissertation. Surely she remembers it.

Richard D. Benham said...

Hello Scott. The discussion has dried up on the subject of Mrs Johnstone. The issue remains current, however, because the claim remains on her ProZ.com CV. (I haven’t checked on TranslatorsCafe lately.)

As I have said, Mrs Johnstone’s policy of lying doggo (I don’t suppose one can say “lying horso”) in response to exposure is actually far more intelligent than the Vadney’s policy of using it to draw attention to himself.

Until the Vadney did Mrs Johnstone the favour of referring to her on his blog, her fraudulent claims were a stale and forgotten topic, despite their still being current.

I wonder whether she’s written to thank him.

Scott Horne said...

Hi, Richard,

Far though I am from the fraudulent mindset of Vadney and Johnstone, I have tried to imagine what I might do if caught in a horrible tissue of lies such as those that they have woven for themselves. I see two options.

The first, which is the more respectable (therefore probably the less appealing to the fraudulently inclined), is to admit that one lied through one's teeth and to beg the public's forgiveness. Fortunately for the unscrupulous, the public is far more forgiving than it should be.

The second is to ignore the exposé and hope that everything will blow over fairly quickly--as it will if one is smart enough to avoid drawing attention to oneself. Moving to Timbuktu and taking up a different profession would accelerate the cover-up.

Ms Johnstone apparently had the good sense to opt for one of these, namely the second. Mr Vadney, however, foolishly professes innocence when the facts condemn him. He is even threatening to take legal action against people who have exposed him--and that would be a colossal mistake, for the courts would certainly put him down in the public record as a shameless liar.

Apparently Mr Vadney can't even pull off a cover-up with any aplomb.

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.