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, 16 March 2008

Vadney the valiant victim, courageous challenger, real champion putting his life on the line for his country!

In recent postings to his puke pages, the Vadney has indeed referred to himself with characteristic modesty as: “valiant victim”, “courageous challenger” and “real champion”. But most amusingly of all, he calls himsef “someone who's put his life on the line for his country”. In Göppingen!? In the 1970s!?

There were no organized Nazi elements left over from World War II, the Soviets didn’t invade and were never likely to, being at least as scared of the West as the West was of them. So what was this big threat to the Vadney’s life? Hippies armed with flowers!

And of course the usual lies. Scott Horne and I published the story that Vadney’s medal was revoked and Scott Waldman picked it up and uncritically republished it. This is not a mistake on the Vadney’s part, this is another lie. The Vadney is an avid reader of my blogs—like all true exhibitionists, he finds even adverse attention exciting—and he has seen my previous refutation of this fabrication. For those who are unaware of the background to this, the original forum thread in which the Vadney was exposed is still available. And then there are the usual lies about such mundane matters as my age, the length of time I spent out of the workforce.... None of these claims, even if true or believed, would add any credibility to the Vadney or his pathetic attempts to impress people, but then why tell the truth when you can just as easily tell a lie?

Note that the Vadney has neither denied nor explained the rather abrupt termination of his military career. Typically, he tries to cover it up with another lie: by constantly referring to his “five years” of service, when he spent exactly (to the day) four years and one month in the army. It rather looks as though he was demoted and bundled out, and he has done nothing to deny it. This from a “real champion” of self-aggrandizement (or puffery, as he calls it). What can we conclude? The obvious!

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Are you suffering from VD?

The Vadney recently published the “news” that “Some Internet Trolls May Have A Psychiatric Disorder!” Despite the total vacuity of this statement (some bus drivers may have psychiatric disorder, some West Virginians may have a psychiatric disorder...it’s amazing what you can do with “weasel words”!), the Vadney does not produce any credible evidence (which is nothing unusual; what is unusual is that he attempts to provide any evidence at all). His reference are a forum discussion and a so-called “BehaveNet® Clinical Capsule™”. Interestingly, the forum contribution is lifted (with a reference) straight from a blog (due to a NéantHumain or “human non-being”), and contains a disclaimer, “It takes a qualified professional to diagnose anyone with a personality disorder., whereas there is no reference at all to Internet trolls on the BehaveNet page. In short, the two alleged “references” are nothing of the sort.

In any case, one may wonder why the Vadney is burbling on about Internet trolls at all. It could be another example of his tendency to get infatuated with individual words (how many times has he used the “word” crapola lately?). Or could it be projection again? Maybe, but it’s not quite so simple: the Vadney doesn’t actually appear to understand these “new” words he’s discovered and become so attached to. So while his calling me an Internet troll may be an example of projection, it doesn’t follow that the Vadney is himself an Internet troll.

This is not to say the Vadney is not a troll. He has all the characteristics one associates with mythological trolls: dwarfish stunted stature, grotesque physical appearance, and an unmitigatedly evil character. Judging from a toy troll my then-baby daughter was given as a gift some twenty-odd years ago, even his hair colour fits the bill. But he is not a typical Internet troll. From the Vadney’s own reference, we see that an Internet troll displays:

  • A tendency to make provocative comments to invoke emotional responses in others
  • A lack of connection to the community being trolled; i.e., will leave if desired response is not invoked ("Do not feed the trolls!")
  • A dissatisfaction with one's life and a cynical attitude towards things in general
  • A tendency to challenge the rules and authorities of a community
  • A preference to exhibit these behaviors only in places where one's true identity is unknown

Some of these apply to the Vadney; others do not, especially the last one. He doesn’t hide his identity, because he is so self-obsessed that he can’t miss an opportunity to draw attention to himself. Even adverse attention is better than no attention at all. The Vadney suffers rather from a form of narcissism, let’s call it Vadneyoid disorder, or VD. He just happens to choose the Internet, among other fora (e.g. the courts, the electoral process), as a venue for drawing attention to himself.

Let’s have a look at the diagnostic criteria for “narcissistic personality disorder”, again from BehaveNet.
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

  2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

  3. believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

  4. requires excessive admiration

  5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

  6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

  7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

  8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

  9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

What was that, “five (or more)”?? I make it nine out of nine! I can’t detail all of them, but here are a few:

  • “exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements”...like claiming an MA you don’t have, professional membership you don’t have, fellowship of the RSA you don’t have...?
  • “sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations”...how many times has the Vadney announced that he has made some totally unrealistic demand of the XYZ border guards, police force, consulate, company,..., and promised to keep us informed of the progress of their “enquiries”, as if they or anyone else gave a rat’s arse about the Vadney’s petty, obsessive and frankly delusional concerns?
  • “ is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends”...are you reading this, Edward Hayes III?
  • “is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her”...well, I dealt with that in an earlier post, “Anyone for Green Herring?”.

If you check the other five characteristics, you will note that the Vadney has them too in spades. So what makes Vadneyoid Disorder (VD) special? Why is VD not just extreme narcissism? Well, part of the Vadney’s symptomatology is his obsession with the law, and his belief that he is always (legally) in the right, and that he knows the law better than anybody else, especially lawyers. So add that to the above list, and we have a clinical definition of Vadneyoid Disorder (VD): anyone with at least 10 of the (expanded) list of symptoms has Vadneyoid Disorder (VD). Fortunately, it’s not known to be catching!

Disclaimer: I am a qualified professional, just not a qualified professional shrink! The above definition was intended for entertainment only.

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.