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.

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.


Scott Horne said...

For “exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements”, let's not forget the bogus PhDs from three universities, some of which he apparently never attended, nor the lab coat dishonestly embroidered "Dr. Harold W. Vadney", nor the deceptive use of the phony post-nominal "Dct.Med." (plainly calculated to imply that he was a doctor of medicine), nor the many other false credentials that Mr Vadney has employed.

Scott Horne said...

Mr Vadney created another blog devoted to defaming Richard and me. I saw every bit of the bullshit that Mr Vadney had written about us, but a few minutes later Mr Vadney put a password on the site so that it could be read by "invitation" only. Then the blog disappeared altogether. Richard brilliantly rushed in and grabbed the name (http://translatorfraud.blogspot.com/) so that Mr Vadney couldn't use it for his campaign to destroy the sterling reputations of honest, respectable people.

Although the material that Mr Vadney posted today is now gone, I have a copy saved for future use.

Richard D. Benham said...

Thanks for blowing my, ahh, trumpet for me, Scott. It serves the bastard right!

Scott Horne said...

He has added an s to the old name. Fortunately, though, he has cravenly hidden the blog behind a password, so that noöne outside his conniving little circles is likely to see it.

Scott Horne said...

Does anyone happen to know how one could be at rank E6 in the US army and then at rank E4 less than thirteen months (and possibly as little as eight months) later? That looks like a demotion to me. But I am not too familiar with the ins and outs of Yankee military grades.

Richard D. Benham said...

(E6)=Staff Sergeant
(E4)=Corporal (or Specialist)

Did you have anyone in particular in mind? And what could it mean if the word “honorable” is blacked out immediately before “discharge”?

Could military demotion and/or losing one’s job be a little-known side-effect of VD?

Scott Horne said...

Anyone in particular? Why, no; I was just seeking general information.

Scott Horne said...

Mr Vadney claims to be a "professional" "translator", yet he cannot even manage to spell very ordinary words. Here is a selection of words that he misspelled today alone, with his incorrect form in parentheses:

cabal (kabal)
sleaze (sleeze)
hypocrisy (hipocricy)
hypocrite (hipocrite)

Probably also androgynous. He wrote "androgenous", which is a word, but one that seems inappropriate in context, and one that Mr Vadney almost certainly doesn't know anyway.

There may well have been other errors in his wild defamatory rant. I can't be bothered to maintain a catalogue of them.

Richard D. Benham said...

Well, being unable to spell must be another symptom of VD.

You can be pretty sure that androgenous was an error, partly because the Vadney has since changed it to angrogynous, and partly because androgenous (use a dictionary, Mr V!) would be even less appropriate here than androgynous.

The guy is obviously trying to appear educated, but proving quite the opposite. He should confine himself to words he knows (unlike lest, which he abuses), and use a spell-checker. A dictionary might be useful for the borderline cases too. Merriam-Webster is available online.

Scott Horne said...

I do not use spelling checkers. But I don't need them: my spelling is perfect.

Mr Vadney would indeed improve his rather poor writing if he limited himself to those words and devices that he actually controls rather than constantly mimicking our more sophisticated usage. Frills and furbelows will not mask fundamental incompetence. (And now that I have used the word furbelows, you can bet your ass/arse that we'll see it echoed inappropriately in Mr Vadney's defamatory blog within 48 hours.)

Richard D. Benham said...

I don’t have an ass; they are expensive to transport by air and I travel a lot.

We all make typos occasionally, but Mr Vadney’s spelling is intolerably bad, and he would benefit greatly from the regular use of a spell-checker.

I use one to detect typos, but my own spelling is based on my own considered principles. So, on etymological grounds, I prefer the -ize suffix in words like apologize (which is favoured in the US), but -re over -er in words like centre (in which I agree with UK usage). So either way, a spell-checker is going to flag some words I have deliberately spelt/spelled a given way, rather than through error. I put up with it because I am slightly dyslexic, and it picks up most transpositions and keying errors.

Mr Vadney, on the other hand, needs help badly....

Scott Horne said...

Information on Mr Vadney's military record can be found here:


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.