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.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Is Vadney Appealing?


Well, of course he isn’t appealing in that sense, but I was speculating as to whether he might be appealing against the recent court decision throwing out his stupid, unmeritorious and unrealistic defamation suit.

What would his grounds be? That he wasn’t able to present his case properly because he didn’t understand the law? This from a would-be Town Justice? Or maybe he didn’t get a chance to put his case? Well, he raved on for three-and-a-half-days, didn’t he?

And what about money? Appeals can be expensive...maybe around $US20K. Surely he won’t cry poor and ask for the fees to be waived?

Run that past me again, Werner?

I am not sure how relations are between Werner Patels and the Vadney lately.

The former’s recent comment on the latter’s blog is open to interpretation:
Interesting developments, after months of not checking in on this story.

Even after years of residing in the blogosphere, so to speak, I am still amazed by the extent to which certain things are escalated -- and transferred into the real world (e.g., by way of lawsuits and/or criminal action).

For Scott Horne to face the possibility of being arrested on what appears to be his native soil, this is probably the worst outcome I have seen in an Internet/blogosphere-related case in a long time, or ever.

It has also confirmed another of my suspicions: translators, most of whom are introverts and loners by definition, should not really socialize -- especially not on message boards and such -- because my own personal experience has shown that our profession is so filled with contempt for and/or envy of others in this line of work that such personal confrontations are just bound to happen.

This is why my wife and I pulled out of Proz, TranslatorsCafe, etc., because the experience was sickening for both of us.

I still remember my wife saying to me one day a few years ago, "You know what? Let's not bother with those sites anymore. All we ever get from being associated with them is grief and insult. Do we really need this?"

I thought about it for a few seconds and concluded, "No, we don't. Life is too precious and too short."

10:53:00 PM

And here is the Vadney’s unctuous reply:
Werner Patels appears to hit the nail on the head in his recently posted comment.

Vadney seems to have got things arse about: when Werner says “For Scott Horne to face the possibility of being arrested...is possibly the worst outcome”, I assume he means that it’s a bad thing. As the Vadney was the one promoting this possibility, Werner’s comment can hardly be construed as a statement in support of Vadney.

What worries me, however, is that the Vadney seems to have convinced Werner that there was a real possibility of Scott Horne’s being arrested. For what? The Vadney lives in a fantasy world in which (a) there is some (so far unspecified) criminal conspiracy against him involving myself, Scott Horne, most of his neighbourhood, two newspapers,..., and (b) people in authority give a rat’s arse about his conspiracy fantasies. It is probably possible to get anyone you like arrested by concocting a sufficiently plausible story, but the Vadney’s grasp on reality (in particular his grasp on other people’s grasp on reality) is so tenuous that the stories he devises (and may even believe) are somewhat less plausible than the Brothers Grimm.


Scott Horne said...

Yes, Werner hit the nail on the head. Anyone of any intelligence—that restriction excludes plenty of self-styled "professional" "translators"—can see that Werner correctly deplores the harassment to which an honest, respectable professional has been subjected for warning colleagues about an outsourcer with a history of bilking and abusing his subcontractors.

Werner and his wife are quite right: sites like ProZ and Translators' Café are overwhelmingly populated by people whom neither they nor I would consider to be professional translators. Not a few of the members are known troublemakers who nonetheless get protected and cosseted for one rea$on or another.

I freely admit to being in the category of "introverts and loners" that Werner mentioned, and to having far better things to do with my time than associating with miscellaneous idiots, wannabes, charlatans, frauds, and scoundrels who style themselves "translators".

Rest assured, however, that there is no possibility of my being arrested anywhere in the world in connexion with Mr Vadney's wild allegations. That's merely a figment of an imagination operating under delusions of grandeur. Counsel for the defence had expressed an interest in calling me as a witness. I was perfectly prepared to comply if my busy schedule allowed. Mr Vadney, if he is to be believed, sent out some ridiculous letters threatening to make completely unmeritorious complaints to various authorities if I appeared. (Yes, this is the same Mr Vadney who at one time was pompously claiming that he would depose me in connexion with his vexatious and frivolous lawsuit.) Well, anyone can ask the authorities to make an arrest, but the authorities won't necessarily do so. As it happens, the defence did not call me as a witness, for it did not call any witnesses at all: the court dismissed the claim as soon as Mr Vadney finally (Deo gratias) shut up.

Richard D. Benham said...

Yes. In similar vein, Mr Vadney has claimed to have got the Indonesian police looking for me, the French police, the Swiss police, the Office Cantonal de la Population in Geneva,.... Still, I go about my business, crossing international borders as and when it suits me.

As to ProZ.com, although they may specifically cater to the bottom end of the market, even they kicked out Vadney within 24 hours of the appearance of Scott Walden’s exposé. Meanwhile, Vadney stumped up to become “TC Master” on Translators’ Café the day I published my exposé on the old forum, and for the benefit of this small amount of money, TC continues to protect him, although noöne there can fail to know about his fraudulent activities.

Scott Horne said...

ProZ can hardly claim the moral high ground for kicking Mr Vadney off the very day that Mr Waldman's brilliant exposé appeared in the Albany Times Union: being mentioned in that article as a major vehicle for Mr Vadney's fraudulent claims, ProZ was simply annoyed with the bad press that it had received as an enabler for Mr Vadney's well-known fraud. ProZ gets little credit for doing the "responsible" thing at that late date. I have documents from the beginning of the decade in which ProZ's very own administrators attempted to justify to an incredulous public the decision to allow Mr Vadney to go on unabated despite numerous complaints about his business practices.

It should be noted, too, that ProZ repeatedly whitewashed Mr Vadney's record, deleting adverse comments about him and hiding his credit rating from the "Blue Board". I am willing to bet that Mr Vadney threatened to sue for "defamation" and thus got ProZ (which, being based in the same state, was an easy target for a vexatious and frivolous lawsuit) to knuckle under. Many people over the years have been furious that ProZ cravenly hushed up the truth about Mr Vadney.

Translators' Café is also perfectly aware of Mr Vadney but goes on mollycoddling him just the same. Three days after Mr Waldman's exposé appeared, Mr Vadney started a thread at TC to find out whether a court interpreter may claim to be an "officer of the court". Mr Vadney showed his ass in that discussion and ended up demanding that it be deleted, just because he came out of it looking vile. TC dutifully acceded to the request. That must be one of the perqs of being a "Master" (paying subscriber).

Richard D. Benham said...

Good points, Scott. ProZ.com was, of course, acting out of self-interest, but at least they had the sense to realize, belatedly, that Vadney was a liability.

The TC Forum thread “The Audacity of ProZ.com”, started by the Vadney, gives some account of his efforts to get negative postings removed. Unfortunately, it has been extensively edited.

I also note that one of the other posters addresses him as “Dr” Vadney and he does not correct this.

The big irony is that, in a later posting, Vadney refers to ProZ.com as a “prostitute” for allowing a “known crook” to “do his thing ... because he is a paying member“. Now (immediately after my exposé was posted), the Vadney himself has become a paying member of TC, which is dutifully protecting him for the sake of a few shekels.

Scott Horne said...

Yes, for a few shekels ("sheqalim" for the pedants)—or perhaps for thirty pieces of silver....

When that message was written, Mr Vadney's photo at TC showed him in a lab coat clearly embroidered "Dr. H. W. Vadney". It's not surprising that many people fell for that lie. Still less surprising is it that Mr Vadney failed to correct the person who addressed him as "Dr", since he had put so much effort into falsely claiming the title.

Not long after Mr Waldman's exposé, Mr Vadney altered his photo at TC. First he lowered the resolution so that the lettering on the lab coat was no longer legible. Then he covered over the lettering with a very unconvincing sketch of a badge. Now he has put up a different photo altogether.

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.