Gerald Joe Moreno
I recently commenced a new blog entitled Kevin R. D. Shepherd Not Exposed. This ongoing feature is a repudiation of the stigma expressed by Gerald Joe Moreno, an American internet apologist for Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011) during the period 2004-2010. His militant strategy encompassed many victims, over a hundred according to one informed estimate. I was unusual for being an outsider to the Sathya Sai Baba movement, and not an ex-devotee like most other victims.
Some weeks after commencing the new blog, I was informed by ex-devotee Brian Steel that Moreno had been reported dead. I was incredulous when receiving the news that Moreno had been stated by a relative to have suffered expiry in early July 2010. The recipient of this information was ex-devotee Barry Pittard.
The report of decease has apparently been accepted as true by some ex-devotees, who nevertheless did not advertise the matter, and hence my ignorance of it. The reason for decease had not been divulged by the relative. Moreno was only forty years of age, insofar as I am aware.
I expressed my view (in private) that confirmation was necessary before acceptance of the report that Moreno was dead. A suggestion was made that the report might have amounted to a hoax. However, Brian Steel reasoned that the reported date of decease closely tallied with the fact that Moreno’s last known web activity occurred in June 2010.
I mentioned the opinion existing amongst some people in Britain that Moreno may have stopped his output because his funding had ceased. He was for years strongly rumoured to be in receipt of financial assistance from a wealthy American devotee, probably Dr. Michael Goldstein, international leader of the Sathya Sai Organisation. This detail is also unconfirmed.
The prolific web output of Gerald Joe Moreno is still much in evidence on Google, thus giving the impression that he is alive. One suggestion has been that Moreno websites were paid up long in advance. Google blogs are free. A deceased blogger can still appear to be alive.
Even if Moreno were to be confirmed as dead, this still leaves the problem of readily visible web materials which agitate against numerous victims, including myself. Victims have the option of denying unjust accusations, and explaining the context of Pro-Sai attacks. To this effect, I will continue the relevant blog Not Exposed.
I will add here some remarks upon the contents so far of Kevin RD Shepherd Not Exposed. In the opening entry, I stressed the identity of Moreno as Equalizer, perhaps the most pervasive of his blogger pseudonyms. Under that name, he duplicated on a blogspot feature libellous and misleading materials from his activist website saisathyasai. That attack site is notorious for defamation. Moreno called his new blogspot copy feature kevin-shepherd-exposed, and this included diverse misrepresentations and slanders.
In general, the Moreno strategy was vehement, repudiating all criticism of Sathya Sai Baba, and treating any critic as a virtual criminal. His targets ranged from the Indian critic Basava Premanand to the British journalist Paul Lewis. Allegations and testimonies of sexual abuse were adamantly denied. When Moreno’s own policy was criticised, he reacted even more strongly.
The Moreno attack strategy can scarcely be comprehended unless his influence via Wikipedia is taken into account. Under the pseudonym of SSS108, in 2006 he launched an editorial campaign against ex-devotees, principally Robert Priddy of Norway. Many observers could not understand what was happening. Nevertheless, the activist editing of SSS108 came under internal critical scrutiny, and this editor (Moreno) was banned indefinitely from Wikipedia in March 2007.
The contradictory fact is that Moreno (alias SSS108, Equalizer) exercised an enduringly strong influence upon Wikipedia editors, mainly those who did not trouble to check out the background. Of course, the pseudonymous nature of many Moreno attacks was resistant to general analysis. Informed observers were familiar with missing details, but sometimes they were repudiated as being in error.
The present writer was never a Wikipedia editor. As a non-participant, I had the unfortunate experience of being dismissed on a Wikipedia User page by SSS108. That document of 2006 was assisted by Jossi Fresco, who became notorious for his advocacy of “guru cults.” A Wikipedia article on myself was subsequently deleted in 2009, the deletion page commencing with scandalous links to defamatory Moreno blogs. Not until 2012 did Jimmy Wales (the Wikipedia manager) intervene in the widespread confusion by deleting the influential SSS108 User page from Wikipedia files. Much damage had been done in my direction by that time.
Moreno gained the reputation of an internet terrorist and cyberstalker, being associated with various extremist activities. He multiplied his attack entries against opponents, and furthered obsessive emphases which often sounded crazy to impartial analysts. One of his notorious web documents was the so-called Introduction to Kevin RD Shepherd, which I repudiated as being extremely misleading.
Another blind alley adventure of Moreno was his adverse reflection upon two Wikipedia editors who transpired to be academics with university roles. These entities had supported me, and so he ridiculed them as being irrelevant. Under their disguising pseudonyms, the academics Simon Kidd and Dr. M. E. Dean were subsequently inverted in Wikipedia lore as ignominious and rascal “sockpuppets” for myself. The truth places superficial assessment in permanent jeopardy. Serious citations are not comical.
Moreno also exercised his ingenuity in denying validity to the BBC documentary entitled The Secret Swami (2004). This programme caused a stir at large, providing an insight into the controversy that had developed between ex-devotees and Sathya Sai supporters. Moreno failed to annul the implications, although he did his best to provide a counter-version of events.
In June 2010, Gerald Joe Moreno adopted another extremist tactic when he cast aspersions upon a university academic, namely Professor Tulasi Srinivas. At the same time, he ridiculed many other victims. Moreno felt that Professor Srinivas had ignored his own contributions. He failed to take into account that libellous and distorting personal attacks are not the best form of recommendation.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 56
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