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.

Friday, 29 August 2008

The Taming of the Shrew, or the Shaming of the True?

Recently (23/08/08), the Vadney published an entry in his sordid little blog entitled Taming of a Shrew or Amnesty. I would advise readers to ignore the pictures and zoölogical commentary. For example, the final picture, with the caption “The cute, chubby shrew mole likes to roll over and have her belly scratched”, is actually a photograph of a shrew, taken in the Netherlands, and the shrew, far from having rolled over, was face up on a piece of glass, and photographed from below.

Quite apart from the Vadney’s customary aversion to the truth, this posting shows his lack of invention when it comes to titles. Mine is much better, don’t you think?

Of course, what the Vadney is all about has nothing to do with the Taming of the Shrew: he wants to see the Shaming of the True. More particularly, of anybody who dares to publicize any inconvenient truths about himself. And when you’re someone as pathetic and dishonest as the Vadney, almost any truth is inconvenient. Not only does he want to shame those of us who stand up for the truth, he wants to extort money from us. He knows that his legal actions can’t win on their merits, but he hopes people will be fearful of the cost of defending them and settle out of court. Sorry, How-Old....

Vapid Vadney’s Vexatious Vexillology

In another ridiculous recent (25/08/08) posting, the Vadney has included a picture of the Agnus Dei, complete with vexillum. The cross on the vexillum is intriguing. It looks rather like the Savoyard cross: white on a red background. This must be the Vadney’s sly little back-handed reference to my living in Haute-Savoie, in the Alps. Now that raises an interesting point: the word alp means “summer pasture”; So what happens to all those alpine lambs in the winter? They get slaughtered, of course! And that is exactly what will happen to the Vadney if he is foolish enough to try to sue me. (Metaphorically speaking, of course.)

However, I have now moved back to Geneva, Switzerland, and so How-Old had better change the shape of the cross on his grubby little picture.

Pompous Pseudo-Piety

All this talk of religion reminds me. The Vadney’s piety is about as credible as his hair colour. A serious Christian theologian would doubtless tell him his use of religious images and language in support of his campaign of defamation and perjury (to cut a long list short) was nothing short of blasphemy.

He has also made a complete fool of himself with the affair of his pseudo-Psalm. First (21/08/08) he presents it as “Psalm 152”, with no qualification or comment, clearly under the impression it was a genuine Psalm. Then (PS to same posting), in response to my pointing out that there are only 150 Psalms in the Book of Psalms, and giving his drivel’s real origin (from a contemporary “charismatic prayer group”), he accuses me of “ignorance”, pointing to the existence of the Apocryphal Psalms (with a claim that “Psalm 152” appears in the Septuagint. I’d like to know where!). Eventually (25/08/08), he finally wakes up to the origin of his pseudo-Psalm, trying desperately to pretend he knew it all along, and citing a capitalization convention which neither he nor the poor benighted charismatics had complied with.

The real Apocryphal Psalm 152

First of all, let me apologize for previously having included, on my biblical quotations blog, a translation of the wrong Apocryphal Psalm. Foolishly, seeing it immediately after a translation of Psalm 151, I assumed it was number 152, but I was wrong. At least, when I make a mistake, I don’t try to cover it up or threaten to sue anyone who points it out.

Anyway, the following translation of the Syriac Psalm 152 is from the monograph Studies on the Syriac Aprocryphal Psalms (Journal of Semitic Studies Supplement, 7), by H. F. Van Rooy. I have taken the liberty of replacing the second occurrence of the word lion in Verse 2, in the light of Van Rooy’s footnote: “All the other manuscripts have ‘a bear’”, and because it makes more sense: David was said to have been attacked by a lion and a bear simultaneously, while tending sheep. I have also put in some standard punctuation.

  1. God, God, come to my aid. Help me and save me. Deliver my soul from the murderers.

  2. I will descend into Sheol through the mouth of a lion, or a bear will harm me.

  3. Was it not enough for them to lie in wait for the flock of my father and to tear sheep from his flock, that they also wanted my soul, to slay me?

  4. Have pity, o Lord, on your chosen one, and save your holy one from harm, he [sic] who persevered in your praises in all his times and who praised your great name.

  5. How did you deliver me from the hands of the destroying death and how did you snatch my devastation from the mouths of the beasts.

  6. Send quickly, o Lord, a saviour from before you and rescue me from the gaping death that wishes to confine me in its depths.

I am not so sure about some of this: Verse 5 seems a bit premature, but that’s how Van Rooy has translated it.

Anyway, I thought it quite apt in a way, with the religious references, and the sheep, and situation the Vadney currently finds himself in. Of course, he would be very foolish to look to God for salvation. No self-respecting God would take pity on someone whose situation had been brought about and was being prolonged by his own iniquity. The Vadney would do well to consider such simple concepts as truth and truthfulness if he wants to save himself.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Vadney4Justice or Justice4Vadney?

Please try not to puke. This is a picture of the Vadney from his 2007 election campaign for the post of Town Justice of New Baltimore. You will be relieved to read that I don’t want you to look at his face. I would like rather to draw your attention to the flag in the background. It’s a 13-star American flag from the days of the War of Independence. So you would think the Wad was trying to tell us something about his attitude to Britain with this picture, wouldn’t you? Well, probably he is, but like most information emanating from the Vadney, the message of this picture is totally false. At best, his attitude to Britain is ambivalent. Vadney doesn’t look down on Britain; rather, he aspires to be British himself. Remember, he claimed (falsely, of course) to be a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA), both august British institutions. And he claimed to have attended, among many other institutions, the University College of London. That would have been more impressive if he had got the name right: it is simply University College, London.

Vadney is a Merkin, Vadney is a thief!

And then there is the sycophantic puff piece in the Schenectady Daily Gazette (24 April 1998, p. B-11), in which the pseudo-journalist Cheryl Clark describes Vadney making “a little pot of chamomile tea” and serving it on a “silver tray”. And, of course, speaking “with a cultured European tinge that belies his Albany upbringing”: in plain language, a fake English accent. How quaint!

So, for something novel, let’s see how the Vadney would fare in the British legal system. As I have mentioned, we know that the Vadney claimed, on his ProZ.com and TranslatorsCafe.com profiles, as well as his own commercial website, to have qualifications he lacked. I also know that one UK agency, until relatively recently when they found out about his fraudulent claims, hired the Vadney on a regular basis. So where does this put him legally?

Also, feigned qualification cases, to my knowledge, have been brought/prosecuted - with the higher criminal standard of proof of beyond reasonable doubt - only under the UK Theft Act 1968. The gen. category is obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception. The spec. count is s. 16(2)c)-> a deception i.e. as to qualifications allowing a person to be given an 'opportunity to earn remuneration or greater remuneration'. See MPC v. Charles; R. v. Lambie; and esp. R. v. Callender (1992)- an unqualified book-keeper pretending to be a Chartered Accountant.

See <http://www.iol.org.uk/discussion/viewtopic.asp?id=1026>,
post by Maurice, a UK solicitor.

So, in simple terms: Vadney is a thief under English law! (Section 16 of the UK Theft Act 1968 has now been replaced by Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006, which came into effect on 15 January 2007. Vadney’s deceptions took place both before and after this date; so he is a fraud (in the UK legal sense) as well as thief! Note that there is no longer a requirement to have actually made a gain or caused someone a loss; intention suffices. And the maximum penalty is 10 years.) Wouldn’t it be nice to see him locked up where he belongs?

A day to remember

22 August 2007. The day Scott Waldman’s article about the Vadney and his lies finally appeared in the Albany Times Union. On the top of the front page of the D (Capital Region) section, with the headline “Candidate lists false credentials”, and a picture of the Vadney’s grotesquely grinning countenance (cropped from the same picture as is shown on this page, by the looks of it.) The subtitle was “Harold W. Vadney III, running for New Baltimore town justice, claimed degrees, memberships he doesn’t have”. There was also a teaser on the very front page of the paper. The Vadney was finally exposed as a fraud, not just on an obscure forum for translators, but in the mainstream press on his home turf!

This magnificent achievement was the culmination of a lot of very hard work behind the scenes by a lot of people I can’t name due to the Vadney’s practice of harassing people who disclose inconvenient truths about him with vexatious and frivolous lawsuits. A bit late for Scott Waldman and the Times Union, though! The limitations period is only one year. My thanks and congratulations go to all those people who helped, and to Scott Waldman and his publisher for having the guts to run that excellent story.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Vadney loses his top and drives full-throttle to perdition?

Affectations can be dangerous.
—Gertrude Stein

We have seen that the Vadney is not above crying poor. His so-called “AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF NOTICE OF APPEAL” (apparently he never actually did file a notice of appeal in due form) alleges that he can’t afford the cost of the appeal,can’t afford a lawyer, etc. He apparently can’t even scrape together $1600 to pay a judgment debt for court costs to one of the defendants in his lost defamation suit. Poor How-Old!

And not so long ago he was bragging about his success and wealth.The Schenectady Daily Gazette published a puff piece on 25 April 1998 (p. B-11), in which Vadney was described as “a businessman who turned a gift for languages - he speaks five - into an international translation service founded in 1986 that currently employs 300 consultants”. Who could have told them that? Even to this day he claims to “travel frequently to venues in Europe, especially Germany, France and Italy” (from the “about me” rubric on his blog, current as at time of writing). Then there is the small matter of that apartment in Italy. And I wonder how it is that he can afford to get around in a BMW convertible. By all reports, he drives around with the top down, his long scarf flapping in the breeze. Surely, he must cut a ludicrous figure posturing around like that at his age: a clear case of delayed mid-life crisis. And what poseur would be complete without vanity plates? In his case, apparently: “OBEN OHNE” (German for “topless”). No doubt the car is registered in his partner’s name, but how often do you think Edward J. Hayes III gets to drive it?

It all adds up, really. The riches to rags, the obsession with toplessness, the holidays in Italy, the convertible with the top down, the long flowing scarf, all point to one thing:


If the Vadney wants to emulate Isadora Duncan, then so be it. I am sure she was a bit of an exhibitionist too. Let us hope his reënactment of her life proceeds at breakneck speed. But there are a few important differences that rather spoil the parallel:
  • People actually paid money to see Isadora Duncan topless;

  • Isadora Duncan actually achieved something in life; and

  • by the time she was the Vadney’s age, Isadora Duncan had been dead for seven years.

Of course, this is sadly purely hypothetical in the Vadney’s case, but we could perhaps add a further major divergence here:
  • When Isadora Duncan died, some people were rather upset about it.

It remains to be seen, of course, if anyone would be upset if the Vadney met a similar fate to Isadora Duncan’s. (Maybe Hayes III would be upset about the damage to his car.) Let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for a resolution to this question.

Well, I couldn’t find a picture of Isadora Duncan topless.
So here’s Mata Hari bottomless.
Like the Vadney, she got herself into trouble with her compulsive lying.

(Courtesy of wikia.com)

Some references

I have been a bit slow about posting reference material, partly because blogging is far from my main occupation, partly because I need to ensure I am not exposing my sources to any legal risks, and partly because I am in the process of changing hosting companies. But here are a couple of files.

  • Vadney’s affidavit in support of his so-called appeal. Here you can see his pathetic bleatings about how he didn’t understand what was going on at the trial of his defamation case, and how he is now a “poor person”, who can’t afford a lawyer or even the court fees for an appeal. A far cry from his usual chest-beating.

  • Judge Teresi’s findings, including, among others, that the “defamatory” allegations against the Vadney were, in fact, true. Also noteworthy is that defamation proceedings are so rare in the US that the court reporter didn’t even know the word “libel”. Maybe they should have got Terry, whoever she is!

I don’t suppose anyone will download, let alone read, those files, but at least they’re there, and at least the Vadney knows that I know....

A more serious matter....

The Vadney has been harassing my octogenarian parents in Adelaide (Australia) with phone calls in the small hours of the morning. This is totally unacceptable. Ostensibly, he was trying to contact me, but he knows very well that I am at the other end of the world, in Europe. I will take whatever action is necessary, legal or otherwise, to protect my parents from this harassment.

Of course I won’t be retaliating in kind by calling the Vadney’s elderly mother in the middle of the night. I wouldn’t want to wake up the whole trailer park!

Coming soon!

Vadney’s career as a thief!

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Special Anniversary Retrospective Edition

Well, actually, it’s a bit over a year since the publication, on 2 August 2007, of the exposé of Vadney’s lies on the NIL forum. I was aware of the anniversary, but have been a little busy lately.

An edited version of the original thread is available here. (Unfortunately, the graphics had to be removed after Vadney made a fuss about my alleged infringement of the copyright of the hosting company. I also added a further post after the forum had been shut down but the story taken up in the press. Also, the IP addresses have been removed for privacy.) Below is a bit of a summary of the story from then to now.

The story behind the original NIL forum thread

In June, 2007, I received emails about an American pseudo-translator named Harold Vadney, containing what seemed like extraordinary allegations about his dishonesty. I knew that he was a bit dodgy, claiming to be a clinical scientist despite showing complete ignorance of even the simplest chemistry, but the allegations against him seemed so over the top that I suspected my correspondent of being a few snags short of a barbecue. I told him I would be prepared to publish the allegations against Vadney on the NIL (Network of Independent Linguists) forum, of which I was moderator, but only after independently verifying the facts. At the time, as well as advertising himself as a translator and running a kitchen-table translation agency, Vadney was also running his second campaign for the post of Town Justice in his local community of New Baltimore, New York.

Among the allegations against him were the following:

  • that Vadney had falsely claimed to be an FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, a UK-based association of some antiquity and prestige);

  • that Vadney had falsely claimed to be a Member of the Institute of Linguists (now the Chartered Institute of Linguists) a UK-based professional society for translators, interpreters and other language professionals;

  • that Vadney had falsely claimed to hold an MA degree from the State University of New York at Albany.

These three allegations could be checked objectively without too much trouble, by contacting the IOL, the RSA and an organization called Credentials Inc., trading under the name of DegreeChk.com. I obtained the requisite information quite legitimately, despite Vadney’s subsequent protests, and it turns out that the above three allegations against him were all true. (He has since changed a lot of his online CVs etc., but his false claims were everywhere at the time, and can still be found in archived and cached versions of his websites.) So I went ahead and published the exposé. I notified Vadney immediately of the thread, a fact which, with his usual candour, he later strenuously denied.

One minor problem with the exposé was that DegreeChk.com had incompetently given Vadney’s one degree as a BS (Bachelor of Science in the US), rather than a BA. (There are serious doubts about how Vadney even got this degree—see below.) Although this led to some inappropriate statements on the NIL forum thread, it does nothing to change the undisputed fact that Vadney lied about his qualifications, in particular, by claiming an MA.

Reaction to the exposé

There were some consequences to all this. Vadney started throwing all sorts of wild abuse and allegations around on the TranslatorsCafe.com forum, in a thread that was quickly deleted. A New York regional newspaper, the Albany Times Union, was alerted to the story, and a reporter, Scott Waldman, asked me some questions and interviewed Vadney. The story did not appear until some time later, however, on 22 August, just after the close of nominations for the election. This story repeated the revelations made on the NIL forum thread, but added some other allegations against Vadney. These included his use of the false title MA and the made-up title of “Drt Med” on translations he certified for official purposes (not surprising since his website displayed an example of his certification including these postnominals), along with the revocation of his Army Commendation Medal.

Lying little worm that he is, Vadney has since repeatedly claimed that Scott Waldman got this information from me (and/or Scott Horne). This is simply not true, and Vadney knows it. I don’t know the source of Mr Waldman’s information, but he certainly didn’t get it from me. Clearly something has been going on behind the scenes, but I can only guess at what it might be. One thing is for certain: Vadney previously claimed to have an oak-leaf cluster to go with his medal, and there was no mention of it in the copy of his military record later obtained by Scott Horne from the military archives.

Rather than taking the intelligent approach of adopting a low profile and waiting for the thing to blow over, Vadney used the exposure of his dishonesty as an opportunity to draw attention to himself. He approached the local press, and one so-called newspaper (I say “so-called” because it was known for such journalistic exploits as publishing a multi-page “news” spread on the opening of a new salon), the defunct and unlamented Ledger, run by the contemptible and unprofessional Lisa Deyo, refused to touch the story. Another, the Daily Mail (24 August 2007), uncritically published Vadney’s version of the story, unsurprisingly full of lies, as fact. This servility was limited only by the incompetence of the reporter, Donna Rich.

For example, Ms Rich got my name wrong and said I lived in Canada and Scott Horne in Indonesia, whereas I lived in Indonesia at the time and Scott Horne in Canada. A scanned copy of the article, along with my response to it at the time and various documents relating to Vadney and his lies, may be downloaded in a ZIP folder from <http://www.geocities.com/qzzu/Vadney/Press_Kit.zip>.

Meanwhile, another newspaper, the Greenville Press, published (30 Aug 2007) a more balanced article. (“Balanced” does not mean the same thing as “even-handed”: balanced reporting of a dispute in which one side is clearly in the wrong will report this fact.) The article begins with the words:
A town justice candidate who misrepresented his own educational and professional credentials remains in the running.

Well, that’s one newspaper supporting Vadney, two supporting truth and justice and the contemptible rag known as the Ledger favouring Vadney but too gutless to publish anything about it. Another newspaper, the Ravena News Herald, which was definitely anti-Vadney, was unwilling to touch the story because it and its publisher, Dick Bleezarde, were being sued by Vadney (see below). Unfortunately, the Network of Independent Linguists’ forum, which first made Vadney’s fraud public, did not survive. Early in the piece, Vadney contacted the inaptly-named Bravenet Web Services Inc., the company hosting the forum, and a hack by the surprising name of Coal Fuller sent me a standard email demanding I remove all references to Vadney from the forum. I did not, and so, on 19 August 2007 or so, Coal pulled the plug. Vadney of course gloated about this, but it is merely a reflection of Bravenet’s craven policy: the moment anyone threatens them with legal action, they buckle. (We had experienced a similar reaction, under a previous moderator, when the IOL threatened Bravenet.)

A constant theme running through Vadney’s emails and public pronouncements is his conspiracy theory. At the time I became involved, he was suing several people for alleged defamation, relating to his pathetic campaign to have himself elected Town Justice in 2005. Articles and advertisements had been published pointing to Vadney’s loony conduct and obvious unsuitability for the office. In Vadney’ perverse little mind, my publication of the truth about him was part of some “conspiracy” with the defendants in that case (which was eventually summarily dismissed), in particular one Joan Ross. To this day, he does not seem to have grasped a few simple concepts. He has actually used the term “criminal conspiracy”, but never said conspiracy to do what. He does not seem to realize that there needs to be a “what”, an object of the conspiracy, and that, for it to be criminal conspiracy, this object must be itself criminal. Nor, at least until recently (assuming he read and understood one of the summary judgments against him), did he understand that there is no tort of “(civil) conspiracy”. There needs to be some underlying tort. The existence of a conspiracy, if demonstrated, may expand the class of tortfeasors, but it does not create a tort out of thin air.

The aftermath: the decline and fall of a narcissist

In another bizarre and perverse action, Vadney set up his hate blog, mainly focused on me, in December 2007, accusing me of “Internet abuse and defamation”. Initially, he hid behind the pseudonym “BG” apparently standing for beau gars (!). For a while he posted at a frantic pace, even finding time between the turkey and christmas pudding to post three times (actually more, since he amalgamated some of the posts) on 25 December. Now he seems more subdued. Maybe he has realized that he is totally outclassed in terms of credibility and writing skills and is only making himself look even stupider with every post, or maybe he is too busy behind the scenes, writing letters to judges, foreign consulates, law enforcement officials, dog catchers, and god knows who else trying to get them to do his bidding.

Vadney today cuts an even more pathetic figure than ever before. Unable to come to terms with the inevitable loss of his stupid defamation case, he is trying to appeal. Not only that, he is claiming poverty and trying to weasel out of paying the usual fees. This does not sit very well with his earlier bragging about the success of his business, or even with his dismissive description in his blog of Scott Horne and me as “indigent”. Certain real estate transactions taking place in distant Italy might be of interest to the court authorities in this regard, too. So impotent has he become that he has resorted to placing plastic bags of dogshit on the street in front of one of his neighbours’ homes (that of another of the defendants in his crazy defamation suit). He is a broken man, his demeanour a far cry from the jaunty arrogance of a few months ago.

Meanwhile, the rest of us have been getting on with our lives, advancing our careers, gaining new qualifications, travelling the world. It is only Vadney that is stuck in the mire of brooding, self-delusion, conspiracy theories and revenge fantasies. One wonders how much longer he can continue like that.

Postscript: Vadney’s degree?

The Greenville Press article mentioned above raises some questions about Vadney’s BA degree. How did he graduate in less than a year after leaving the Army? It quotes him as citing credits earned from the University of Maryland while in the military. Fair enough. What puzzles me, however, is the number of credits. There is reference on his military record to his having entered with a massive 15 semester-hours’ credit from Union College, and gained a further 24 SH under the DANTES scheme while serving. That makes a total of 39 SH when he left the Army. And yet he was able to complete the requirements for a degree (at least 100 SH, usually more) in less than a year? The guy is no genius, and, given his self-proclaimed propensity for “forging his way”, we are entitled to ask: just how did he get the necessary credits so quickly? Did Clerk Typist Vadney get some additional credits for his typing ability?

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.