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.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Shock! Horror! Vadney tells the truth!

Well, it had to happen one day, I suppose. Harold William Vadney III has been caught actually telling the truth!

I have got hold of an archive copy of his CV (entitled “About Me”) from the 2005 election campaign, and it contains a classic example of unintentional truth-telling.

First, let me set the scene. We all know that Vadney's only genuine tertiary qualification, among all those he's claimed over the years, and despite his alleged decade or more of study at any number of high-profile universities, is a BA in German. However, we are also aware that he further claims, in many places, to have been “Director of Clinical Research” at Cathedral Health Systems. (I note in passing that Vadney took two unsuccessful lawsuits against this company!) So how does a language graduate get to be a “Director of Clinical Research”? Easy!

The answer is supplied by the Vadney himself:
I later moved to East Windsor (near Princeton) and from there forged my way into the pharmaceutical industries, and later into public health (HIV, TB and STDs), and finally into clinical research and epidemiology, finally occupying a position as Director, Clinical Research and Epidemiology with a major hospital corporation in Newark, New Jersey.

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(emphasis added)

Forged his way, indeed!

...which makes me wonder...

Might there have been some (unintentional) truth in some of the statements in Vadney’s blog? Well, his use of the word produced is sometimes open to interpretation:
  1. Harold Vadney subsequently produced his Institute of Linguists diploma--disproving Benham's and Horne's claims--and forwarded a copy to the now Chartered Institute of Linguists' officer corresponding with Benham and Horne but who inexplicably (or explicably) disappeared or is no longer with the Institute'' and the Institute has been reticent on the subject ever since;

  2. Harold Vadney produced his RSA certificate of election to fellowship--again disproving Benham's and Horne's claims;

—Blog entry, 23 April, 2008
(emphasis added)

We'll ignore all the usual lies for the moment. The question is: What can Vadney mean by “produced” here? The word is sometimes used in the sense of laying something before someone, as evidence, say. But who has seen these alleged documents? He can't mean he produced them to the IoL, because he mentions forwarding a copy of his diploma to them, as a separate event. I can conclude he is using the word produced in its more everyday sense. “Produced” them with PhotoShop, did we, How-Old?

How not to win a court case...

Now Vadney has been a little coy about the outcome of his famous court case, in which he sued Joan Ross, John Luckacovic, the late Richard Bleezarde and Bleezarde's publishing company for alleged “defamation”. So it was left to me to announce the pleasing if predictable news: he was found to have no case against any of the defendants. Mr Vadney’s handling of the case did not help his cause. In particular, he called witnesses whose testimony could only harm his cause, including the one remaining defendant (the case against the others having been dismissed before the thing came to trial). This is what the judge had to say about Vadney’s attempts to prove the falsity of Mr Luckacovic’s assertions:
The fourth element is that the Plaintiff must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the statement was false, meaning substantially untrue. There has been considerable testimony about the contents of this statement, paragraph by paragraph, in some instances line by line, and in some instances inexhaustible questioning concerning specific words and/or phrases. There's been a total lack of proof or evidence that the statement, that this article, Exhibits 6 and 7, Judge with a Grudge, is false. On the contrary, the extensive examination of the witnesses in this case, particularly the Defendant, have [sic] only established and cemented the fact that the statements are in fact true, although the Defendant has no burden at this stage. So I'm finding that as a matter of law Plaintiff has failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the statement was false, that is substantially untrue.

The simple translation of that is that, despite his three-and-a-half days of theatrical posturing and calling huge numbers of witnesses, all Vadney managed to prove was that the “defamatory” allegations against him were in fact true (which we all knew anyway).

By the way, the judge also found (still in relation to Mr Luckacovic's Judge with a Grudge? article) that Vadney had failed to show that it was defamatory, failed to show that Mr Luckacovic had known it to be false (pretty hard when it's true, but judges have to be thorough) or acted in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity, and failed to show that it had been a substatial factor in causing economic loss (to the respective burden of proof in each case). Put simply, the case never had any merit and Vadney knew it.

What's a few oak leaves here or there?

Another interesting claim in the Vadney autobiography that has recently come to light concerns his military decorations. Consider the following:
While with the 1st IDF, I earned a number of commendations from the German military and civilian community and service medals, including the Army Commendation Medal with oak-leaf cluster.

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(emphasis added)

But hang on! What happened to this oak-leaf cluster? It's not mentioned in the copy of Vadney's military record sent to Mr Scott Horne. It has strangely disappeared from Vadney's more recent CVs. (For those not familiar, the oak-leaf cluster is equivalent to being issued the same medal a second (or subsequent) time.) Is this the medal which, according to Scott Waldman's article in the Times Union, was revoked? Why did it take Vadney so long to get confirmation of his medals, when it took so little time for Waldman and Horne to get their copies of Vadney's record? Did Vadney engage in some kind of threats and posturing to get the Army to remove all reference to his revoked oak-leaf cluster? And why did Vadney get demoted and leave the Army in such a hurry?

Of course, Vadney himself could answer these questions, but don't hold your breath: he is probably exhausted already from revealing so many truths in one life-time.


Scott Horne said...

Well, now, that's interesting. Far from affirming Mr Vadney's absurd claims of "defamation", the court found that Mr Luckacovic's statements were in fact true--thanks to Mr Vadney's minute examination of every jot and tittle thereof. Mr Vadney could hardly fear a more disastrous outcome: he managed to prove that a set of unflattering statements about himself were true, and to enter that fact into the public record. Again, he brought that result upon himself. It wouldn't have happened if he had not stupidly filed a vexatious and frivolous lawsuit.

Scott Horne said...

Furthermore, Mr Vadney did not even present evidence that he had suffered a financial loss from the true statements that he alleged to be "defamatory". In the words of the court, "[t]here's been an absolute absence of any evidence concerning any financial loss".

It's axiomatic that a claim of damages must be supported by evidence of the purported damages. Even most small children know that one cannot simply sashay into court with an unsupported assertion of losses and expect to prevail. So why the hell was this vexatious and frivolous case left standing for two years, thereby causing eminently respectable people in greater metropolitan New Baltimore to suffer considerable inconvenience, annoyance, and expense? Why was so much time and energy wasted on a matter that was plainly without merit?

The court should have realised from the beginning that Mr Vadney was just making trouble for others and that he had absolutely no case. Hell, the very size of the claim (a total of several tens of millions of dollars) showed that the suit was baseless, since there was no way that a person of Mr Vadney's, er, stature could have suffered losses in the eight figures. And anyone, even a lawyer, with a serious claim to that amount of money would hire counsel. It was also quite clear that Mr Vadney knew less about the law than my great-grandmother knew about the pharmacokinetics of interferon in rhesus monkeys. Last but not least, Mr Vadney's suit was obviously nothing but a vexatious and frivolous attempt to harass the defendants.

Well, of course the court did realise all that. The court could tell from the beginning what Mr Vadney was made of. So why didn't it throw the case out two years ago?

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.