The following is written from a desire to protect the emotional and material well being and professional reputations of those who have been or would potentially be affected by the information offered here. I present my observations as fact which I would stand behind in a legal setting. Having consulted with legal counsel after being cc’d in a letter threatening a potential lawsuit at the behest of retired University of Arizona professor Guy McPherson, I feel comfortable moving forward with publishing this information. Because McPherson has repeatedly suggested pursuing legal action in the form of libel suits in regard to previous interactions with others, and has made some indications that he may pursue a lawsuit with regard to the kind of information disclosed here, I have approached this presentation primarily as a first person assessment and will make an effort to separate my direct observations from analysis, which can be freely disputed based on one’s own interpretation. As I wish to not be rhetorically overburdened by the use of such phrases as “I think,” and “I believe,” anything written here that cannot be directly observed should be viewed by the reader as conclusions which I have drawn, and thus should be weighed against the information provided.
Nothing that I have seen indicates that what Guy McPherson has done is illegal. That does not mean that his actions have not caused harm. I believe that they have, and I will seek to demonstrate that in this piece for the sake of the well being of others. I have provided links to the significant portions of quoted text so that the reader will be able to ascertain the full context of these passages. In the event that these quoted pages are removed from the web for whatever reason, I have taken screen shots for the purposes of more enduring documentation. In the unlikely event that McPherson’s actions result in the removal of this page, I have taken steps to ensure that the information will remain accessible to others.
I also believe there is potential for people who have developed emotional ties to Guy McPherson to be upset by what has thus far been brought to light, and what I will be discussing in the following piece. If anyone finds anything said here to be sufficiently upsetting, I would urge you to seek out professional support in your community. Everyone has a right to be heard, to lead safe, fulfilled lives without fear of harm, while those who do cause harm should be prevented from continuing in that manner.
Finally, I anticipate the possibility that the creation of this piece will draw negative attention, in addition to alerting others to potential harm. Any harassment, online or otherwise, done in person or through assumed online handles, will be documented and noted here.
Warning: The following piece contains language of a sexually graphic nature.
For a time I followed the work of retired University of Arizona professor Guy McPherson through his Nature Bats Last (NBL) website and through online Facebook discussion, particularly through the Near Term Human Extinction (NTHE) community that his work had helped to establish. I found his arguments for the case of impending human extinction compelling and important, and though I did not like the prognosis he provided, in many ways it presented a logical conclusion to the kind of thinking I had been engaged in for several years. The authority with which he seemed to speak on the subject made it easier for me to contemplate the possibility of extinction in what I understood to be the framework of valid climate science. While I was a bit disconcerted that he would confidently proclaim the likely end of human life on a decadal time scale, as I felt it problematic to describe the collective finality of a highly adaptable species in this short of a time frame with such probability, I none the less appreciated his overall line of thinking.
I began to have serious doubts, however, about McPherson’s credibility after a 2015 interview he conducted with self described Homeland Security government contractor Mark Austin on his Nature Bats Last podcast. Austin’s rambling and discontinuous delivery sounded in no way believable when he suggested in an almost stream of consciousness delivery that the governments of the world had a global mass depopulation plan using biological weapons that they would deploy in a time of chaos. I posted my critical reaction to the interview on one of the Facebook forums associated with McPherson’s work, and though I received some agreement, many members in fact embraced the content of the interview wholeheartedly. At that point I began to wonder about the ability of this group to truly think critically about presented information, but more importantly, I began to have strong doubts about McPherson’s self professed interest in presenting the truth.
In a follow up podcast, McPherson discussed reactions to the popular Austin interview. While he left open the possibility that Austin’s information was untrue, that possibility was framed as being the result of a potential disinformation campaign waged against him by powerful interests, rather than the likely potential that Austin was simply not a credible informant, lacking in the security clearances or employment required to have knowledge of a supposed mass depopulation plan. (That notion of a kind of covert government plot of persecution directed against McPherson, which I will call the “Deep State” narrative, should be noted, as it will come up again later.) In fact, a sizable portion of the follow up commentary consisted of McPherson providing cover for why we could plausibly believe Austin. While attributing Austin’s vocal delivery to potential nervousness and the import of his information, McPherson declared at around 25:50
“[Mark Austin] was at the same level of government as Edward Snowden. They’re both government contractors contracted by an agency in the US federal government. Umm, we don’t…almost all the information Mark Austin presented can be easily fact checked with publicly available information. So it, its not as if there are [pause] unknowns regarding the United States and its biowarfare program, although they couch it as, couch it as an experimental program, and every time they kill people in this country or beyond they call it an experiment, rather than a project. Umm so there are things we don’t know, obviously, and that’s what we are trying to get to is those unknowns for us. Were we completely successful? No. But there are people who are umm afraid for their lives and for the lives of their family members as the result of last week’s show. I think maybe we touched a nerve.”
The idea that someone on par with Edward Snowden, who possessed top secret security clearances and became a household name for the import of his disclosures, would be appearing on the small time NBL podcast to disclose this kind of explosive, high level genocidal plot, seemed to me improbable to the point of absurdity. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, not because the revelations were shocking or because I am naive to actual genocidal government actions, but because the entire story, its delivery, and the setting for its revelation seemed so ridiculous. For a retired academic who claims to be “evidence based” I found the multi episode platform that was given to Austin to be well beyond disappointing, and the often unquestioningly supportive comments left in response to those podcasts should be evidence for why the interview and its follow up needed a strong rebuttal. The whole situation led me personally to question both McPherson’s integrity and his motives.
Upon further investigation, I found that Mark Austin, who interacts online within the associated Nature Bats Last community, had posted a string of bizarre comments on various NBL blog posts, suggesting to me that his scattered train of thought and unbelievable claims were not purely the result of nervousness, as McPherson had suggested. A segment of one such post can be seen below.
“…Geniux RX, Blue Brain digital waves for instant mind change. Heck yeah, we are the real Sci “aliens” here developing the DARPA neural network. On the edge of extinction we can try everything …. especially if it might blast half of the disconnected leaders into rapid nuclear plant decommissioning. Hundreds of doctors for nuclear responsibility do care about leaving Earth with less radiation. It only takes a few hundred with the right technology to alter the path of billions. None of us or what we do counts. It’s about the future for OTHER SPECIES in the slightly bigger picture. Our electro synesthetic tissue is on all national news channels as I type. But the methane spike – not even Porter Ranch problems are on TV for a reason. Everything is already under media manipulation. Bluetooth BLUE BEAM will just do it a lot faster than messy biowar.”
Austin’s comments also provided further fodder for the above mentioned “Deep State” narrative. In early April of 2016, he says the following:
“http://www.Homeland security news wire.com
NSA authors of the NBL group study suggest that we are facing an increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters as a consequence of climate change. “We believe that this is going to cause even more natural disasters and, therefore, the use of social networks will allow us to obtain useful supplementary information,” points out Professor Esteban Moro, who is currently working on further research monitoring Guy R. McPherson and other groups. “We are trying to see if there is a relationship between activity on social networks and climate change which will affect us in the future”.
— Read more in Y. Kryvasheyeu et al., “Rapid assessment of disaster awareness using social media activity,”
HOMELAND Security monitoring.”
In a second post Austin writes, in reference to a report issued from the Senate Armed Service Committee:
“…The report, though long, is an easy read, and it’s always worthwhile to understand what issues are motivating the government’s actions. GUY & MO have my real ID info. I did try to explain months ago the effects of CRISPR & WMD biogenetic advancements. Asymmetrical Bio war on schedule for potential induced pandemics by June 6 2016”
Incredibly, Austin is not only rehashing his wild claim to privileged knowledge of an extermination plot which was to be potentially unleashed in June of 2016, but he also claims that the NSA is monitoring McPherson and has authored studies about his Nature Bats Last group. He then goes on to cite one such study, “Rapid assessment of disaster awareness using social media activity.” If one performs a Google search for this study, predictably nothing comes up. However, with another cursory online search, a paper entitled “Rapid assessment of disaster damage using social media activity” (emphasis mine) appears in the search results, authored by the very Y. Kryvasheyeu mentioned by Austin above. Obviously the genuine paper covers material that has nothing to do with Austin’s assertions of NSA monitoring. What I believe most intellectually trained or critically thinking people would have recognized as baseless claims in Austin’s NBL interview now appears to be part of a larger pattern of dishonesty, easily uncovered with basic level internet searches that any second rate academic would have noticed.
One could perhaps make arguments that support the claim that McPherson was simply duped by Mark Austin, but I personally find that conclusion to be unlikely. My own assessment is that McPherson is better educated, more composed, methodical, and intelligent than Austin, and being trained in the scientific method, would not be easily fooled by Austin’s transparent claims. The initial interview should have been an obvious red flag for any critical thinker, let alone a former tenured academic in the scientific field. To ask pointed, illuminating questions that actually push for truth, rather than engaging in a few off handed and empty rhetorical flourishes in the initial interview as well as the follow up, would be basic practice for any ethical broadcaster of information, if a podcast entertaining the possibility of such absurd claims could be ethically made by an academic at all.
Actual questioning is done to preserve both one‘s own journalistic integrity and also the audience’s understanding of reality. McPherson has created an image for himself as being an “evidence based” truth teller, and yet, as mentioned above, after his offhanded and in my view highly implausible alternative explanation that Austin could be part of a potential disinformation campaign launched to discredit him, McPherson primarily provides a sense of plausibility to Austin’s story in the follow up podcast, rather than credibly challenging it. Furthermore, McPherson himself is active on his own NBL website (https://guymcpherson.com) in the same comment section in which Austin indicated this ongoing NSA surveillance. In the comment section, one can find McPherson defending himself against several individuals who claim that he has made specific predictions for the end of humanity, and that, according to those arguing with him in the thread, he has subsequently backpedaled from those predictions while saying he never specifically made them.
In another one of McPherson’s blog posts, several posters argue with the moderator, mo, that Mark Austin is actually a con artist trying to sell a health product called Geniux RX (referenced in one of Austin’s quotes above), a claim mo disputes as libel. mo goes on to say “…the specific Mark Austin who posts here does have a reputation, and is known in person by several people who also post here or in other places associated with NBL. that is the actual person you have to responsibly provide information about to back up any claims you are making.” This indicates a personal familiarity within the community that goes beyond purely online relationships, and also demonstrates a willingness to defend Austin’s reputation, in spite of his unbelievable claims. To further substantiate the standing Austin held within the community, in another NBL comment section someone asks McPherson what Mark Austin’s handle is, to which McPherson himself replies, “ greg, Mark Austin’s handle here is Mark Austin.” Just three posts down from McPherson’s reference to Austin’s online identity, Austin writes,
“(I sit quietly for hours doing COMPUTER CODING & CONTRACT WORK from the funding provided we provided to them from DARPA & NIH. Reading and SLOWLY scanning codes actually takes less effort than trying to write a perfectly composed comment!) ho ho ho.”
In another NBL post, the moderator mo says “hey Mark ~ just deleted a blank post from you. let me know if you were trying post something that didn’t go through.
Since his appearance on the program, Austin has contributed numerous posts in McPherson’s moderated blog comment sections, at least one of which continued the claim that he made during the NBL interview podcast, that he was actually a former student of McPherson’s at the University of Arizona, which McPherson did not dispute. In the post he states:
“…Delusion??? Maybe some form of mental energy will transform with insights. Learning from greedy mistakes. Basic sustainability common sense Dr. Guy Mc Pherson tried to teach us at UofA decades ago.”
As late as June 23rd, 2016, one of the last Nature Bats Last blog posts that allows for comments, Mark Austin suggests that he has direct contact with high level government officials like John McCain. The moderator, mo follows up with:
“mod note from mo
I asked Mark to back up the claimed quotes here with a clarification that all quotes here are accurate and given by permission, and this is what he said below (“His” refers to McCain)
“Yes full permission. Exactly the same as any news reporter. His quote is for NBL news. You can call his office also but due to my family connection and knowing exactly how to get thru I manage okay. I also rarely do it and never abuse the privilege. Also because it is “me” the NSA will ‘scan’ read my comment. So will the CIA. I will happily provide you the link to the public of how and why the CIA checks all facts when they are mentioned. http://www.CIA.gov if you don’t have sign in code to that part I will go in and find it tomorrow.”
Taken together this material suggests that the Mark Austin interviewed on the podcast program is the same Mark Austin commenting on the blog, and it demonstrates a level of familiarity and engagement that would make it difficult for me to believe that McPherson was unaware of the continuing bizarre commentary made by Austin, beyond that which McPherson willingly entertained and bolstered on his pod cast program. And yet, from the very first interview, through the follow up pod cast, to the blog comments, Austin’s transparently false narrative was allowed to continue to fool others by someone who claims to elevate truth, excellence, and “evidence based” reporting.
What made all of this for me decidedly indicative of dishonest and manipulative behavior on both the part of Mark Austin and particularly McPherson is a December 2016 Nature Bats Last post in which McPherson entertains a series of emails sent by Austin which leads him to publicly state that Austin is potentially a government spy sent to watch him. On his blog, McPherson states:
“The spy who claims to love me, who uses the cover Mark Austin, wrote to my friend and host Kevin Hester on 19 December 2016: “THANK you for hosting Guy McPherson I’m afraid the NSA is about to get much tougher on him and a list of others as Trump & Rex Tillerson have asked for specifics. Sorry. I’m only the messenger.”
Of course, we don’t know when or if “Mark Austin” is telling the truth. He claims to be a spy, and he has presented credentials sufficient to convince me. If he’s not a spy, he’s lying. If he is a spy, he’s paid to lie. If he is a spy, we don’t know at what junctures he is lying. And there’s also the issue of how much power the president has at his disposal.”
In my opinion, McPherson’s suggestive and leading commentary is not something anyone who has any desire to adhere to professional standards, clarity of communication, or ethical behavior would give. While it is true that governments lie, conspire, and commit the most despicable acts, in this post-truth age of “fake news” and “crisis actor” populated mass shootings at every turn, there are those who are easily misled into believing fanciful stories, and those who intentionally manipulate others into believing them. I consider McPherson to be the latter.
The obviously false claims of Austin being a spy can clearly be seen for the lies that they are for several reasons. Anyone who doesn’t need further convincing on this matter can save time and skip the following points.
- There is no logic to the supposed depopulation plan. As the current world powers rely on a massive, exploited population to provide them with the complex, interconnected system from which they primarily benefit, the claim that world governments, have a program to exterminate much of the global population during a time of crisis, starting with the United States is absurd. Exterminating en masse the global population that provides labor for the complex industrial system is like cutting off one’s own legs. Survival cannot be maintained by today’s modern global elites absent an industrial base, and eliminating the workforce only speeds that demise. If the hypothetical crisis is significantly catastrophic, and the industrial base is already in the process of free fall, no depopulation plan would be sufficient to preserve the lives of the elites in the midst of that failing system. It simply makes no sense.
- Austin does not act in a manner suggestive of membership in the intelligence community. Austin’s bizarre commentary and claims to work for a variety of government departments are not in keeping with the activities of professional spies, which do not openly post about their activities on blog forums, but instead maintain a low profile. Blowing the cover of a spy is a crime in the United States. Releasing sensitive or classified information results in investigations, terminations of employment, and imprisonment.
- NBL is not the forum for serious information leaks. If a global depopulation plan did exist, it would not be leaked on a small time program like the NBL podcast. Snowden’s publications were properly vetted as media outlets need to maintain a certain degree of believability, especially in such sensitive matters, and those documents were filtered through major networks like the Guardian because whistleblowers seek maximum impact and therefore go to lawmakers, legal representatives, or publishers of significance. No major news network would take Austin seriously, not because of the fact that networks undeniably have vested interests, but because Austin simply is not a believable individual, posting lies and nonsense online, and would not stand up to vetting.
To suggest, then, that Austin’s claims are even remotely plausible as McPherson does, I find to be absolutely absurd, dishonest, and unethical, and I would wager that McPherson’s intent in entertaining these narratives was at least in part to manipulate the beliefs of those who actually could find such suggestions possible. In a way, I find it to be insulting that I would even have to waste my time articulating how absurd all of this is, in what amounts to the kind of diatribe I would ascribe to little more than obsessed, self absorbed internet trolls. I would not be wasting my own time, and therefore personal resources, on this issue, if it were not for both threats of litigation as well as what I believe to be actual emotional harm that has been done, and could be done in the future.
Furthermore, in the same blog post entitled “Achieving Peace” McPherson goes so far as to claim that he had been under government surveillance for a decade. He says, “Considerable supporting evidence, albeit heavily redacted, indicates I’d been surveilled since 1996. I had an NSA-contracted spy in my classrooms in 2005.” I would like to see how a courtroom views his considerable supporting evidence. Perhaps if he wastes more time and resources, moving forward with his libel lawsuit(s), he will give everyone the opportunity to better understand those claims, among others, during cross examination.
If one is to read the comments of Mark Austin, the supposed spy does indicate a kind of respect for McPherson. He wishes McPherson a happy birthday. He tells McPherson he is loved, and appears to be, at least on the surface, concerned for his safety. In his initial interview with McPherson on the NBL podcast, he indicates that he closely follows McPherson’s work. He tells McPherson that he essentially wanted to bring something new to the table that hadn’t been covered, when he broaches the subject of bio-warfare. To me, all of this indicates a desire to be seen as helpful or useful, and is suggestive of a need for approval. In my view, given McPherson’s willingness to further Austin’s outlandish and misleading tales for approximately a year through his multimedia platform, and given the nature of McPherson’s relations with others which I will address further below, I wonder to what extent Mark Austin might have been manipulated in all of this as well. Is it possible that by having McPherson’s assistance in maintaining this unsupportable narrative for the course of a year, Austin gained a sense of respect, mystique, belonging, or notoriety within the NTHE and NBL communities, having been given the forum to pose as a spy? Regardless of that possibility, it was a deceptively crafted role which I maintain simultaneously helped provide McPherson with a source of admiration, an aura of elevated importance to those who would believe the concoction, and provide further cover in the form of a narrative adopted by McPherson’s defenders who now claim that the “Deep State” is trying to take him down. These are all potentials for the reader to decide. I certainly have drawn my conclusions.
I’m not sure what Mark Austin’s mental and emotional state are, but I hope that he is capable of recognizing his own value as a human being independent of the NBL community, and get the support I believe he likely needs to create a healthier life for himself. I would not be in the least surprised if McPherson created some new narrative, suggesting that he was being stalked by Austin, and that he feared for his safety all along, and therefore was forced to play along with Austin’s claims. For reasons I won’t go into here, I would not in the least find such an argument convincing, were it to be made, and though the possibility of this occurrence is of course speculation, I put it out there because based on my observations, I feel a sense of genuine concern for the mental health of people who would develop these types of ongoing relationships, and a need to preempt any more obscurations which may come from McPherson.
Moving forward, some other questions that emerge from the above information for me are: what should we make of a retired academic scientist who believes humans will likely be extinct in a few decades or less, and who then has used his multimedia platform to advance the kind of information described above? Should we trust the word of Guy McPherson? Is it reasonable to doubt, and to publicly express that doubt, about his motives, character, and authenticity?
In 2017, McPherson expressed his desire to sue climate scientist Michael Mann for libel. In a blog post entitled Oh Mann he stated:
“The short, libelous piece of unintentional comedy by Mann and crew includes the following paragraph from the Post, a leading mouthpiece of American Empire:
“Some of the more egregious examples can be found among fringe characters such as ecologist Guy McPherson —- a doomist cult hero who insists that exponential climate change likely will render human beings and all other species extinct within 10 years.”
There are several errors in this one-sentence paragraph. I’ll focus upon three of the errors. Firstly, I’m hardly a fringe character. I’ve attracted the attention of most of the world’s climate scientists, the New York Times, and hundreds of other media outlets. Secondly, I’m not a doomist cult hero. Rather, and quite importantly considering the context, I’m a doomist cult superhero. Thirdly, Mann is lying: I’ve neither said nor written, “that exponential climate change likely will render human beings and all other species extinct within 10 years.” Not surprisingly for a man of his enormous –and seemingly unrecognized — privilege, Mann fails to distinguish between human life and all life on Earth. He repeats the libelous statement in an interview with The Real News Network.
Had I sufficient money and time, I would sue Mann and his co-authors for libel. I don’t have the imperialist deep pockets of Pennsylvania State University, much less a leading newspaper of record for the corrupt American press. As a result, the Washington Post and its writers are off the hook, as is often the case. I contacted the ACLU and other groups to request pro bono support. Alas, there’s little interest and no money in extinction.”
Ironically, according to Scott Johnson, scientific writer and contributor to Ars Technica, McPherson has repeatedly misrepresented the science and the words of others, which Johnson documented in the Errata section of a 2014 post “How Guy McPherson Gets it Wrong.” After an interview with Johnson on Radio Ecoshock, McPherson also apparently threatened a potential libel suit against the host Alex Smith, who reported on his blog:
“In an email Guy McPherson claims I am encouraging negative comments about him. I am not encouraging such comments and need to insist we stick to publicly provably facts in posts here.
Not unrelated, Guy also tells me he is consulting a lawyer about this blog. He demands that I remove posts which ‘slander’ or ‘libel’ him.”
All of this is important context moving into understanding relationships McPherson has apparently engaged in with several women, which they have reported to have been at times deceptive and emotionally destructive. I, and many others, happen to believe them. In late August 2017 information surfaced in regard to an online relationship between McPherson and a twenty five year old woman who, in a professed state of emotional vulnerability, had in her words, sought McPherson out as a kind of mentor. The online relationship they established was perfectly legal and consensual, but the nature of the relationship, revealed in widely shared screen shots and commentary posted by this young woman as well as in McPherson’s own responses to these screenshots, demonstrated that McPherson, in presenting a false image of being opposed to patriarchy and misogyny, was perfectly willing to participate in fantasies of a degrading and dominating nature toward women.
With regard to the August 2017 revelations, the argument has been made that these screenshots could have been faked, that their content was not objectionable, or that they were taken out of context. From a related perspective, it is suggested that these revelations are insignificant given the vast social and ecological problems we collectively face, and that we should not be distracted by what should be considered a private matter. This is a case of “killing the messenger,” they say. Taking that last argument to the extreme, it has been suggested that this has been an attempt by actors within the “Deep State” used to discredit McPherson. I find none of those arguments convincing and I will address them here. It is my hope to further flesh out, given the numerous observations I have laid out above, why I further believe Guy McPherson is someone who cannot be trusted, and why I believe no competent lawyer wishing to protect their own reputation, or at the very least not have their time wasted, would take on a libel case on his behalf.
The August 2017 screenshots that blew the lid on McPherson’s behavior were taken down shortly after they were posted on Facebook. Because of the pubic nature of that post and the capabilities afforded by social media, it was downloaded at will, to surface again and circulate within various circles of individuals. At this point, the knowledge of this post and others like it is indeed understood to some extent among those who were immediately connected to McPherson through social media, and McPherson‘s own response serves to confirm their existence. The following images were the ones that were posted, along with a screenshot of McPherson’s immediate social media response.
These screen shots (followed by McPherson’s initial Facebook response to them) represent only a small portion of a much larger exchange between these two individuals, a volume of such extent that it would be difficult for one individual to falsify them in their entirety. McPherson contends that this larger body, which he possesses but has yet to release, places the exchange from the screen shots provided in their proper context. In a recent vitriolic NBL blog post which can be read in full here, in which the reader will note McPherson repeatedly uses language geared toward the evasion of responsibility for a variety of his actions, he says the following:
“A recent example of judgment, gossip, rumor, and innuendo involved Serena Marie Raphael McPherson, who is quite a clever piece of work. She asked me to participate in her online kink fantasies, including BDSM and a Shibari video of her. She even shared how to experience a “safe” rape fantasy. I was unaware of Shibari or rape fantasy until Serena introduced these concepts to me.
In other words, Serena taught me some serious kink. Then she began kink-shaming me. Not surprisingly, her lies have been accepted without question by the majority. As an example of her cleverness, college dropout Serena apparently broke no laws in orchestrating this character assassination”
Obviously the swipe McPherson took with regard to her college performance has no bearing on the moral and ethical issues at hand, but its insertion is a good indicator of the way McPherson values others and the inappropriate and irrelevant manner in which he attempts to discredit her. I have spoken with a third party who possesses the entire content of these dialogues in question, and based on the discussions we had, the idea that McPherson was an innocent and hapless man simply lured into participating in these types of fantasies in my view is a distortion of the truth. More importantly though, my view has always been that the “consensual nature” of the exchange was never the issue. Rather, what I find deeply objectionable is the content of rape, combined with the fact he has taken on a role of prominence and leadership in part defining himself as a critic of patriarchy, misogyny, hierarchy, and the dominant culture of empire, which made his decision to participate in these objectifying fantasies of rape and enslavement suggestive of public dishonesty. Having criticized misogyny, patriarchy, and hierarchy, his engagement in this type of fantasy, regardless of how it was initiated, is like a prominent white individual viewed as an ally in the black liberation movement who in his private life engages in fantasies of enslaving black people with an emotionally traumatized but willing black person. There is nothing illegal about the act, but should such behavior come to light, the surrounding community would rightly be outraged. Or would they instead blame the “clever” black person for setting a trap?
Through social media, I have also encountered other women who have stated that they knew of one or several emotionally harmful, deceptive, or emotionally inappropriate relationships McPherson has engaged in over the course of several years, giving credence to my belief that this goes beyond simply a casual exchange over the internet. Here are some of multiple communications regarding these relationships, that have been shared through social media by people I have since corresponded with directly.
One woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous shared the following statement:
“I think it was in 2012 that I first learned about Guy and his work. I wrote to him to thank him for his what he was doing. He responded and was very warm. He invited me to a talk he was giving in a sort of nearby town. He wanted to meet, alone, or with some others, at a restaurant. I chose to meet with others. He stayed near me all evening, even though Sheila was there. We all went back to our homes, and nothing had transpired. I will say he pursued and pursued. He kept at it insisting that we Skype and chat often. He always had a reason. He was trying hard to seduce me, and I fought him off. I knew he was married. He tells you that his marriage is sad, loveless, sexless and has been for years. …That they are divorcing soon. He was not going to take no for an answer. He wore me down, what can I say. I gave in…eventually. I was hooked…bad.
We were Skyping, chatting, writing, all of the time. He eventually wanted me to come to New Mexico. He had to see me. I wanted to see him badly. It got more and more intense…lots of sexting too. I was just about to go see him Then…out of the blue…he dropped me. No, we never got physical in real life, but I was devastated. I had believed we were in love. I was destroyed. My guts torn out. But…I was still a doomer! (dumb lol) I left my job, left my apartment home…and hit the road to become a “woofer”. Why, I do not know! Maybe I thought it would still make me feel close to him. I was so messed up. I still believed in his work! (yikes…)
But…When I was woofing I was chatting with some other doomer ladies. We became fast friends. We spent time chatting, about life, about doomer stuff…about Guy. One day we were talking and it hit us…we realized we had all been involved with Guy…at the same time! I don’t remember how it came out. One woman had planned on ending her marriage..for Guy. She had been dropped too, after being physically involved with him. She became so destroyed that she was suicidal because of it. The other woman had her personal photos and communications shared by Guy, with another woman he was seeing. She was dropped also, and totally devastated…not to mention humiliated by his sharing her private stuff. I don’t recall if they were physical. …We knew of others too.
By the way, there was nothing about money going on…yet. Not like I have seen from what you all have said. Not that I knew of anyway…
It was all so awful. We decided to try and tell others. We wrote to Carolyn Baker, who basically told us to shut up and leave him alone. I don’t think much of her. She shared our letter with Mike Ruppert and with Guy..!!! Wow thanks a lot Carolyn!…not very ethical.
When I and these ladies were chatting, we were comparing notes to see when and what happened. He was involved with us back when he was writing a poem about “Being n Love…with the Earth” or some such crap. We all knew about the poem and realized he had posted it knowing that we were each in the wings. He knew we would all be wondering if the poem was about us. …and yes, we did! When we “saw” this…we realized how devious he is, and that his work is all meant to manipulate women in the wings. He had told us all privately that he didn’t really care about nature nor the planet. He does that to dare you to say anything. It’s all so twisted and sick.
I am , and was, so embarrassed to have fallen for him. I didn’t think I would ever have to deal with him again…and here I am. It’s “up” again. I’m okay, and glad though because I see how it has brought me to where I am. It helps me be clearer now, and to see what I still want to work on with myself. I can only hope that people just get away from him…and the whole “doomer” thing. I hope this story helps.
I am very sorry more women got hurt. We tried to stop him. I am very relieved that some are starting to see through his game. I will answer questions…and move on again.”
(Carolyn Baker, a former McPherson associate and coauthor of a book with McPherson, has since written about her experience in relation to him, and in so doing has also incurred his ire. She wrote “ I have been deceived, and I have defended betrayers in the name of “having faith in humanity” or “wanting to believe the best about a person.” To anyone who has been harmed by my shadow denial, I sincerely apologize.”)
Another woman has made repeated online statements in regard to McPherson’s behavior for which she has appeared to have been largely ignored, said simply, “I have known about this despicable behaviour for several years, since I know a number of his victims personally.”
I have also spoken with a mental health professional who worked with a client in a therapeutic setting who, according to this individual, had been in a relationship with McPherson. According to this professional, the client had been personally traumatized by the relationship, and was not wanting to come forward at this time.
Women should always be taken seriously when they report inappropriate behavior, and taken together, I find it highly improbable that multiple individuals who have not met, some of whom once had high regard for McPherson, would be fabricating these kinds of stories, especially given the nature of McPherson‘s interactions with Mark Austin. As we have become aware over the years of various high profile sex scandals, however, perpetrators are often believed over the cries of a string of victims, and the communities often remain silently tolerant of the abuse, or rush to defend the abuser. Again, this is not to imply that McPherson’s actions in this case were illegal, but according to those who have recounted them and from behavior I have personally observed, they were in keeping with the emotionally destructive, dishonest, manipulative framework of the patriarchal culture that McPherson disingenuously critiqued, and of which I believe he ultimately perpetuated.
As was pointed out in the Wrong Kind of Green (WKOG) statement, McPherson advertised on his page that, having recognized the despair his message of an impending extinction level event would cause, he became a certified “grief specialist.” In one post McPherson states:
“Despair is a typical and expected reaction to my presentations, and I would have it no other way. If the truth causes despair, then bring on the truth. I’ve been despairing for years. It hurts. But avoiding our emotions makes us less human, hence degrades our humanity. I want no part of that. I want to feel, even when it hurts. Until I can’t.”
This means that McPherson, through his online and speaking tour platforms, created both the mechanisms for further isolating individuals intellectually from society and simultaneously inducing significant emotional distress in those concerned with climate change, while also promoting himself as someone professionally qualified to act in some capacity of emotional assistance for grief. The period of time required for McPherson to gain this certification through The Grief Recovery Institute appears to have been less than a week of training, hardly enough time to qualify one to be capable of adequately tending to the emotional needs of others. But this level of training, if unknown to others, none the less creates an image of respectability and authority, which is amplified by academic achievements and the surrounding intellectual, moral, and sometimes financial support of an often unquestioning community. This combined role of “the world’s leading authority on abrupt climate change,” grief inducer, and grief specialist, in my view fleshed out the potential for a toxic emotional, intellectual, and social dynamic which played out in the recounted experience of the aforementioned individual who came forward in August.
The content of the particular exchange demonstrates McPherson’s willingness to participate in fantasies that are deeply degrading to women, which, combined with the information shared by other women, is one major component of multiple concerns I have with regard to McPherson, a concern also shared by others. But to take this in another direction, McPherson created a dilemma for himself and for the so called “doomer community” and those others with whom he associated, with regard to his behavior from his uniquely crafted role.
What many have failed to see in their continued support for McPherson is that this role he created has brought into question both the motives and methodology which he has employed to strongly suggest impending human extinction will likely occur in a few decades or less. Regardless of what he claims the scientific evidence says (and there is also credible reason to doubt those claims), and regardless of what his followers believe to be true about human extinction, there is the very strong potential that others who are first introduced to McPherson’s disputed conclusions and who become aware of his activities in question here, could justifiably conclude that the ever shortening timeline for human extinction that he provided was arrived at not through rigorous scientific inquiry. Instead, they might reasonably conclude, as I and others have, that McPherson was motivated at least in part by the intention to utilize a controversial and frightening narrative which set him apart from others to draw in people concerned about their future and the environment, to convince them to set aside hope and the bondage of social norms in the anticipation of impending demise, and then use that state of extreme emotional susceptibility to facilitate emotionally predatory relationships within the small, intellectually isolated, and globally dispersed audience he has cultivated. Of course it is possible to dispute this line of thinking, and I’m certain McPherson would present his own account, but the reality is that the relationships multiple individuals described above, I believe do create the possibility for such shade to be cast.
This is an additional reason as to why ethical boundaries are needed if one is to maintain credibility. While many of McPherson’s supporters seem unwilling or unable to confront the most significant issue at hand, the emotional well being of several women in question, it would seem that at the very least the potential damage he has done to the credibility and public image of his message and those who associate with him would be enough to strongly indicate among his supporters the need for a leader that exhibits strong ethical boundaries and the engagement in behavior consistent with public presentation. The very fragmentation of the Near Term Human Extinction and Nature Bats Last groups and any diminishment of his credibility within those circles are the predictable result of what I and others have concluded to be inappropriate behavior, of which is he bears responsibility, but for which he thus far has been unwilling to apologize. This inappropriateness is twofold. Firstly it is the actual content, which those who understand the repression of women found to be highly objectionable, regardless of how it was initiated. But secondly, and for those who are not disturbed by the content, it is the fact that his interactions contradicted the pubic image that he created for himself, an image which helped to constitute his community of moral, intellectual, and material supporters.
In an ill willed and flimsy rebuttal piece entitled “All’s Fair…?” McPherson suggests that in fact there was no “community,” in which he took part. He wrote “Unencumbered by principles, Sliwa claims I have power over Serena, and by extension everyone else in the (nonexistent) near-term human extinction ‘community.’” This I believe is an extremely important sentiment for getting insight into McPherson’s dishonest way of thinking, living, and communicating, and provides a window into the way he attempts to avoid responsibility. McPherson is someone who for years has hosted his online blog and radio show about near term human extinction and abrupt climate change, a role in which he credited himself as being a “foremost expert.” This suggests not only self acknowledged prominence, but a sense of a unique and special role at the top of a pyramid of experts, and a central role in the message of near term human extinction. His podcast was at times a call in show in which people could speak directly to McPherson and ask questions. They indeed sought him out as an expert, and someone they looked up to and could trust. McPherson doggedly defended that role as someone who has been misunderstood, but who ultimately held a unique angle on the truth. His “truth”, however, was not simply wed to cold science, but also ranged into the emotional sentiment that “on the edge of extinction, only love remains,” a phrase which ironically discards the central relevance of science once the conclusion is reached that we are doomed no matter what we know or believe. In such a way, his words suggested that resting on his scientific conclusions, in the end, his message was ultimately about the connection between others, a connection based ideally on love and the pursuit of excellence, which naturally created the sense that community is what is ultimately important in this supposed end time. Moving from this platform, he regularly traveled and stayed with others at their homes, recruiting them to bring him into their home communities. He spoke highly of community when living in the “mud hut,” in posts like What works: community, where he lived in close proximity with his NBL podcast co-host Mike Sliwa, before then discarding the community there to move to Belize. Because of multiple related posts like the aforementioned one, McPherson’s own Nature Bats Last blog features the word “community” as a somewhat significant word in the associated tag cloud. He also has an NBL classified section, in which people who have found his work regularly advertise live-in arrangements at their homestead properties in preparation for ecological collapse. At the time of this writing, one such classified reads, “An Invitation to come and live love and pursue a life of excellence as Dr. McPherson so eloquently puts it.” McPherson even mentions in the very “All’s Fair post…?” in which he denies the existence of a NTHE community that his partner Pauline (as if he didn’t bear any responsibility in the matter) had invited Serena, who had also been a featured contributor to the NBL podcast, to live in their home in Belize. He stated ““My partner knew about every aspect of my relationship with Serena. As I’ve indicated, Pauline even invited her and her husband Shannon to move to this property in Belize.” Improvements for the Belize property, as well as monies for the lawsuit McPherson threatened, were sought out in the form of donations through crowd funding campaigns from people who had found resonance with McPherson’s teachings and liked him as a person. At this property, McPherson hosted workshops dealing with grief and other reactions of those sufficiently touched by his message of impending demise who would then travel to Belize see him. An online community sprang up in various iterations, such as the Near Term Human Extinction Support group, and the Near Term Human Extinction Love group, among others, for which his partner Pauline, according to a Vice News article, was an online moderator. After the August revelations, the initial Nature Bats Last Facebook group was disbanded, with another to spring up with Pauline as the founder, for those who still wanted to be part of McPherson’s community. Their group statement reads:
The guiding principles of this group are no blame, no shame, at the edge of extinction only love remains. (Guy)
At the desperate request of individuals who use critical-thinking skills, I (Pauline) am creating this private group for folks who want to continue sharing about our imminent demise.
Please do not add people who have slandered, libeled or defamed Guy or anyone else for that matter.
This is a space for adults, for joking, for crying, for sharing news, for being a tribe of the walking dead.
Fuck the patriarchy and sex shaming. Live life fully. Love big. Be here now and all that crap.
Most importantly, be kind to each other. Time is running out.
And most importantly AGAIN we are LGBT etc friendly. No more shaming people. “
Not only was community demonstrably part of McPherson’s NBL platform and NTHE message, it played a critical role, with McPherson situated as the lynchpin. And this can also be observed by the emotional reactions people had toward the revelations discussed above. Both those who rejected his behavior with a sense of betrayal, and those who clung tighter to him with kind words and financial support, provided clear indications of the sense of community he had engendered.
From my perspective, McPherson was able to deny the very real community that he fostered, because while he depended upon supporters, intellectual allies, donators, attendees, moderators, cheer leaders and promoters, defenders, admirers, event and travel arrangers, hosts, audiences, blog commenters, and the like, and while he fostered live in experiences, stay overs, and workshops with people he worked and associated with, all of which fostered ongoing relationships both online and in person, I believe he ultimately only valued these people in a utilitarian sense. While they engaged in ongoing emotional rapport with McPherson, I believe ultimately it was for the reason that they were confirming his own sense of importance and treatment as a uniquely situated, loving, misunderstood, excellence spreading individual that he valued them. If a portion of this community was somehow negatively impacted by his words or actions, which would thus disconfirm the image he sought to maintain, then in his mind, he had no such influence, the community simply didn’t exist, and those individuals were nothing more than liars jealously seeking power, perhaps even working for the Australian government. While I personally found his denial of the NTHE community to be laughable, I’m glad that he made that claim. It’s extremely revealing of how easily he misrepresents the truth and devalues others. Perhaps those who continue to surround him will some day come to recognize just how McPherson truly understands community. That will not happen immediately, as he will likely need to burnish his image as an empathetic, world class leader in abrupt climate change who has no power within a community that does not exist, or retreat altogether as the self proclaimed victim of power seeking slanderers.
And while those who will continue to financially or otherwise support McPherson from within his (“non existent”) community will likely see things purely from the perspective of their leader‘s reputation, they have missed altogether the perspectives of others. Primarily, they miss the perspective of those women who have been directly affected. But they also miss the perspective of those individuals and groups who have worked with or been associated with McPherson in the past. This is clearly demonstrated in the case of Deep Green Resistance, an organization that promotes radical feminism. One of DGR’s founding members Derrick Jensen interviewed McPherson on the topic of patriarchy for Resistance Radio. If DGR had not publicly denounced McPherson’s online interactions after becoming aware of them, they would have compromised their own integrity and reputation as a group that situates itself as an active ally to women and an opponent of rape culture. While those who follow McPherson can dismiss the revelations made by other women as simply taken out of context, that in no way constrains others such as DGR, who have zero tolerance for misogynistic and patriarchal language or behavior regardless of the context or its consensual nature, to share the same assessment. One could correctly suggest that DGR’s very existence is rooted in opposing such behavior, and they demonstrated this with their public statement regarding the August 2017 revelations. The very nature of DGR’s stated positions, values, and public image ethically compels them to denounce such behavior to maintain internal consistency. To not do so would morally compromise their organization in the eyes of their membership, for which they would undoubtedly suffer. Furthermore, if DGR were to simply let this behavior slide, by giving such tacit approval to McPherson, they could be inadvertently exposing other women to McPherson‘s dispositions, who might interpret DGR’s past associations as a kind of feminist seal of approval.
Importantly, this potential is another demonstration of how perceived authority can strongly influence perception and decisions, beyond the constraints of contractual agreements or money changing hands, which McPherson has suggested, in their absence, prevents abusive power dynamics from occurring. Like the exchange of money and contracts, the combination of reputation, physical symbols of success and authenticity, published materials, awards and distinctions, popularity, and intellectual authority, along with social organization and pressure, are all also socially constructed mechanisms that can convey a kind of power. McPherson admits as much in his own case when he claims to be an authority on abrupt climate change and then talks about the emotional impact his talks invariably have on others. That is actual power over the emotional lives of other human beings which he would not enjoy absent his academic credentials, his symbols of authority, and his community of support which helped provide him with a platform. Some have made drastic, life changing decisions based on their understanding of who McPherson is, the kind of beliefs he purported to hold, the nature of the information he provided, and the level of expertise he presented himself to have possessed. McPherson regularly critiqued other climate scientists who did not share his bleak outlook of committing “malpractice” in their climate assessments, because he knows very well that words from authorities indeed do have power, even if he wants to selectively avoid responsibility in his own case.
By contrast, DGR, with the voices of Derrick Jensen and Lierre Keith, used their own socially constructed influence ethically and in a manner consistent with their stated standards of anti misogyny when they denounced McPherson‘s behavior. Mike Sliwa, a long time former friend of McPherson’s, has developed an online following through his own social critique as well, and has chosen to use his voice to speak up in this matter. Similarly, founder of the Wrong Kind of Green, an online publication that exposes various forms of social exploitation, Cory Morningstar, and long time contributor Forrest Palmer, have also collaborated closely with McPherson in the past, and sought to warn others of McPherson’s behavior. As an occasional contributor to WKOG, I also believed it was of utmost importance to denounce behavior I deemed objectionable for my own conscience, as well as the emotional well being of others.
Upon careful listening, what was interesting for me about McPherson’s Resistance Radio interview on the subject of patriarchy was that though he had appropriated that word as part of his own critique of civilization, he noticeably avoided any substantial critique of the systematic abuse of women. Even when asked pointedly at the end of the interview by Jensen about what males specifically can do to combat patriarchy, thus defining action in terms of a difference based on biological sex, McPherson simply replies that we need to talk about the issue, suggesting there is little more that can be done. McPherson has talked about patriarchy, on that radio interview and also on his blog. I observe that his use of the word is not an insignificant aside, but is characteristically deceptive. Using the highly charged word “patriarchy” itself is suggestive of a strong feminist critique of society, yet in his interview with Jensen, his definition is practically indistinct from hierarchy. On a blog post entitled Patriarchy Arises from Ownership, McPherson says “Contrary to prevailing opinion, it is not men who make up patriarchy. Not all men rule, and most men are exploited.“ I bring this to light simply because I believe that there may be a potential that he would defend his actions toward women as not being patriarchal, and therefore not in opposition to his public image, simply because he does not define patriarchy to be a term explicitly concerning the domination, exploitation, or abuse of women. Yet employing the appropriate linguistic symbology, it deceptively creates the trappings of allyship with women (and feminist leaning men), which is bolstered by other factors. One is simply appearing on a program with Derrick Jensen, whose work McPherson claims to be influenced by, discussing the word patriarchy, thus creating a layer of social and intellectual association with a self identified radical feminist. Jensen’s organization, by contrast, has this to say about patriarchy:
“There are many branches of feminism. Radical feminism takes aim at the root cause of the crisis facing women: the system of violence that keeps people divided by sex with a dominant class (men) and an oppressed class (women). This system of violence is called patriarcy, and over the past two thousand years it has come to rule most of the world. Patriarchal civilization is based on exploiting and consuming women, living communities, and the earth itself.”
McPherson has also called out others when it comes to patriarchy as well as misogyny. In one instance he stated, “I love Abbey’s work. I doubt I would’ve loved the man, whose work hinted broadly at misogyny and patriarchy.” Furthermore, one of the last NBL blog posts which allows comments contains the house rules for the forum, including the following:
“1. No libel. Learn the law as needed, starting here.
2. No attacks on classes of people, including racism, antisemitism, and misogyny.”
In a presentation given around a month and a half after the above August revelations, McPherson continued to maintain (min 15:45) that endemic misogyny is one component of the destructive culture that is destroying the planet.
All of this suggests to me that McPherson uses the language of genuine concern and empathy to create a façade which he can use to deceive others while maintaining his public image of respectability and allyship with women. Those who remain in his close community either come to understand misogyny and patriarchy from his warped perspective, or simply ignore the issue altogether. Rather than trying to ascertain exactly what McPherson intends or implies when he uses the words misogyny or patriarchy, I would suggest that the words are not there for him to define, and that any attempt to use them to suit his own definitions or agendas, would in fact be the definition of patriarchal. Though it may potentially serve as a cloak for his sense of personal responsibility, any attempted appropriations or redefinitions from the common usage to suit his own purposes or sense of internal consistency in the end are irrelevant.
McPherson’s image of respectability further dropped in his initial, Facebook response to the August 2017 revelations (see above) which I personally witnessed and responded to. McPherson copied and pasted that response into numerous threads, in which he unabashedly stated:
Women that claim untoward sexual advances are generally believed because of “rape culture.” Serena knows this.
In reality, McPherson’s statement is an inversion of the truth. Rather than exploiting rape culture to their advantage as a kind of shield to hide behind, as McPherson callously implies, women are in fact the victim of rape culture, a reality which he obscures through his use of “quotes.” A 1996 FBI Uniform Crime Report showed that only 8% of reported rapes in the US turned out to be false reports. Sexual assault is also one of the most under-reported crimes in the US, with perhaps as many as 80% of assaults remaining unreported. This is in part because when it comes to sexual harassment, mistreatment, or assault, women are often doubted and doubt themselves, and are stigmatized or ignored, as much of McPherson’s community is doing now and has apparently done in the past. While these statistics might not generally be known, their implications would be understood by anyone who, like McPherson, presents themselves as being opposed to misogyny or patriarchal culture, and the message contained in these implications would certainly not be inverted by any anyone presenting themselves as a genuine critic of women’s repression, hierarchy, or modern society.
In the postings that followed McPherson’s inversion of the reality of rape culture, a supporter of McPherson, Hollie Radloff, insisted that rape culture is merely a “social construct” created recently by feminists, who have created this notion from their biased perspective. In what I took to be an act of profound public mis-education, former teacher McPherson “liked” these comments, suggesting once again that his display of anti patriarchal, anti misogynist convictions are a deceptive façade, and he is willing to let the mask of his fraudulent self presentation slip a little if it will help him garner certain objectives, such as the continued support of loyal followers. I believe that his responses alone further flesh out why his former associates find him to be a deeply objectionable, untrustworthy person, and disqualify him as serving in a leadership role within communities that value the treatment of life and women. None of this should be in any way controversial.
Beyond his initial Facebook response and his online support for those who echoed his deligitimization of rape culture as they defended him, McPherson also indirectly responded to the unfolding revelations on his Nature Bats Last blog, in a piece entitled “Mostly Done.” Shortly after the initial fallout, he proclaimed “A strategic retreat is in order. The lethal combination of professional trolls and the Deep State – not that the two are mutually exclusive – has me changing my priorities.” While McPherson is careful not to state directly that the groups and specific individuals responsible for presenting his troubling behavior are paid trolls or working in some capacity at the behest of the Deep State, he is nonetheless dropping this morsel which his readers can then pick up and run with. Several of his most prominent supporters were unfortunately convinced by his narrative.
One supporter, Kevin Hester, who financially contributed to McPherson’s anti defamation campaign which targets those who exposed his behavior, and who later took over McPherson’s NBL program, stated:
“Guy fell into a very well laid trap, probably set by ASIO, the Australian Security Intelligence Service to discredit him and derail the planned Australian tour…Collapse will be very, very ugly, somewhat like most of you. You are all puppets of the deep state you morons.”
Another supporter, Robin Westernra, a blogger with a somewhat significant following, who also backed McPherson‘s anti defamation campaign wrote:
“For those who don’t already know, because of the trolls (official or otherwise), Guy McPherson has effectively gone dark – at least, on Facebook. I have been told that the Australian authorities are trying to bring Guy down before his tour later in the year.
Unless I hear something I will assume that he/she is too fearful to say more. Such are the times we live in.
Unless you are directly involved you wouldn’t know and might even think it paranoia.”
In a more recent (10/31/17) post, this same blogger states:
“A more charitable explanation is that the Deep State who has been following everything Guy writes and says and definitely knew of the conversation approached Serena with a mixture of promises and threats to get here to make these accusations against Guy with the aim of blacking his name – something that supporter and NSA spy Mark Austin might possibly confirm (?).”
At least in this case, McPherson is apparently more comfortable having his trusted supporters shoulder the responsibility of making the kind of ridiculous, reputation damaging Deep State allegations that he will only imply, which in one case even referenced Mark Austin. The notion that I or others are puppets working knowingly or unknowingly at the behest of secretive and entrenched government organizations, however, is part of this continuing absurd narrative discussed previously which in no way would be advanced, implied, tolerated, or suggested through innuendo by anyone under McPherson’s circumstances who also wishes to uphold a reputation of honesty, empathy, or intellectual rigor. McPherson may not state directly what his followers have chosen to articulate, but notably, McPherson also does not diffuse their suspicions, which, as evidenced above, include the continued belief in the legitimacy of Mark Austin.
It was after his “strategic retreat” from social media had concluded around two months later, that he arrived back on the scene with his “All’s Fair…?“ post. He was greeted with an emotional outpouring and support of quite a few of his followers. One proclaimed:
“My whole take on this most likely Australian spy sting is this…ha ha ha. You heterosexuals fall for this shit all the time! Us homos know a hustler on spot. There’s just so many more of you. Scandal oh jeezus! Too think this could happen, oh the humanity! Why would someone try to silence a voice telling the truth by any means necessary? There is no historical valuation! Tesla much? Anyway, I’m happy that Dr. Doom is back. I just hope litigation doesn’t take the cake.”
Another supporter wrote:
“…I read your latest essay ‘Alls fair …’ and I think you say it well, but you missed that JBC mi6 detail. My overall impression is that JBC and Serena were one connection link from a disinformation effort to smear you for your beliefs and used JBC and Serena to entice and elicit from you those erotic text messages which then were distributed to your acquaintances who in their PC manner all extrapolated it in their own minds and became the unwitting useful idiots twice removed from the character assassination effort originating from the Australian intelligence which may have initiated that whole plot…”
Predictably, McPherson decided to ‘like’ both of these comments that suggested deep state involvement, rather than putting to rest the claims. Another comment which public critic of misogyny McPherson tellingly “liked” came from supporter and lawsuit campaign backer Jared Tyler who wrote:
“ We missed you brother. This is a solid piece, that needed to be made public. I know that if Mike were alive, he would’ve sniffed that bitch out from the start, and the whole fiasco probably wouldn’t have eventuated in the first place. Good to have you back!”
It is with his own choices and actions, his own social media activities, the things he has said, tolerated, and supported on his blog, on facebook, and in person, and not the words and actions of his critics, that has further soiled McPherson’s credibility and the credibility of those who choose to continue associating with him.
While McPherson’s dire message to the world is compelling for some, and while through his travels, online posts, and features in prominent media outlets he has certainly attained the notoriety of a pubic figure, it goes without saying that his influence on the populace at large is thankfully exceedingly small. He is no threat to the so called Deep State in a world where the majority of people harbor entrenched views and either don’t believe climate change is real, don’t believe climate change is a significant threat, or believe that measures such as green energy and geoengineering will solve the problem. His dire message may have been picked up by a few significant media outlets, but his views are marginal, his audience numbers in the thousands on a planet of billions, and he is therefore in no danger of tipping social scales toward a climate panic that the Deep State would wish to reign in. In all likelihood, that threat of panic will emerge from actual economic and ecological disruption, and radical groups actively opposing the government and corporate structures in the hopes of making deep change, and not from McPherson’s changing future probabilities that promote the futility of trying prevent extinction.
In the face of certain doom, McPherson advises his followers to do what they love. He may not dissuade one from protesting the government or corporate structures which he often rejects, but he also does not make it central to his message, as genuine activist groups do. He frames his message as being one of “planetary hospice,“ in which nothing of real substance can be done to prevent the extinction of human life. As further evidenced by the actual collective activities of the Near Term Human Extinction and NBL community, his message clearly poses no threat to the so-called Deep State. One could even make the more plausible, but also ultimately absurd argument, that by telling supporters to simply “do what they loved” as the world inevitably burns, McPherson himself was working for the Deep State in a manner that would pacify people who were concerned with the environment and who might otherwise pose a threat to the status quo. McPherson’s continued willingness to entertain these Deep State fantasies, especially in response to a woman who has expressed emotional harm, at the very least further undermines his credibility in the realm of genuine human concern and social action. In my view it also suggests a compulsion to avoid responsibility and instead callously invent or embrace implausible suggestions to distract from the real issue at hand while projecting an often accepted sense of self importance and martyrdom to those who unquestioningly follow him.
In a Q & A session recorded and uploaded to Youtube (minutes 40:00-44:26) McPherson publicly states that according to a Meyer’s Briggs Type Indicator test he took at university, he was evaluated to be a sociopath. This raises several questions upon closer observation. The problem, of which McPherson is aware, as evidenced by comments made to myself (which I will post below), is that the MBTI does not test for sociopathy.
Sociopathy is not an official psychological diagnosis, but is often used interchangeably with psychopathy, the common term for what is clinically referred to as antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). Like narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) which also falls into and overlaps with other Cluster B psychological disorders, those with ASPD exhibit a lack of empathy for others. They are also deceptive, highly manipulative, and can exhibit a superficial charm that draws people in. McPherson likely knows this as well, because in a blog post entitled The Narcissist Meme, in which McPherson attempts to explain why he apparently also referred to himself publicly as a narcissist, he states,
“It began as libel. I turned it into a joke, as I often do. As a result, it became fodder for my detractors, based in ignorance and stupidity. Thus did my joke get turned on me. So much for playing Court Jester.
I’m referring to narcissism. Technically, I’m referring to narcissistic personality disorder. The latter is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others.”
Interestingly enough, McPherson’s blog post came exactly a month after semi-retired mathematics and physics teacher Frank Gibson wrote for the Wanganui Chronicle after seeing McPherson when he was on tour in New Zealand:
“We have the self-proclaimed narcissist Guy McPherson predicting imminent climatic disaster and Donald Trump, the alleged narcissist and self-proclaimed expert on all things, telling us climate change is a hoax by the Chinese. Take your pick.”
Gibson also acknowledged other aspects of McPherson’s troubling behavior, going on to say:
“In June of this year he says he received an email from someone who had been placed in his classes by the NSA (National Security Authority) [sic] for five years to spy on him. McPherson came across in his talk as an intelligent, well-read but possibly a personally troubled man…In the question time a well-informed man quoted evidence from several other sources which contradicted McPherson’s findings. I found the way that he essentially told this audience member to be quiet and dismissed his evidence out of hand rather rude…”
Perhaps if McPherson was not yet aware of this article, there will now be threats of another libel suit coming down the pipe. My apologies to Mr. Gibson.
In the Q & A video above, in which McPherson claims to be revealed as a sociopath, he then goes on to say that he has very little, if any empathy. While McPherson told me that the description of being a sociopath was meant to be a joke, he in no way makes this clear to his audience within an interaction that spans over four minutes. I found nothing in his tone or delivery that would indicate he was joking, and I am not the only one, both in his live audience and outside of it, that had that same reaction. Incredibly, a confused and apparently somewhat shocked audience member asked if what he was saying really happened, that he had indeed been diagnosed as a sociopath, and McPherson insisted that it had. His elaborations on specifics about his scores being off the charts and his drawn out response showed that while he was being deceptive on at least on some counts, he was not communicating humor. He was, however, clearly fooling those who had come to him for insight and truthful answers. If given the chance, McPherson would likely excoriate anyone who would point out these issues. His blog about the Narcissist Meme continues along that very line, in which he is unable to assume responsibility for the manner in which he delivered his remarks:
“My pattern of overestimating the intelligence of my audience doubtless contributed to my going broke. My Camus-inspired, absurdist outlook on the universe routinely has me turning everything into a joke. The typical person in this culture has no idea what the prior sentence means.
The joke went south. Now people are claiming that I admit my narcissism. Well, I do: as a joke! As should be clear with the application of a small amount of logic, no narcissist would admit to being a narcissist, much less make the proclamation before an audience. Logic is an attribute possessed by few within contemporary culture.”
On the one hand, McPherson is a Camus inspired absurdist, a court jester “routinely…turning everything into a joke” that “few within contemporary culture” have the capacity to understand. On the other hand, he is an embattled evidence based truth teller, a skilled teacher trying to demonstrate why what he is saying should actually be taken seriously to audiences who can’t grasp his logic, all while his claims are often disputed by other, more widely respected scientists that he rejects as frauds, libelers, or cowards. On a third hand in this house of mirrors, he has been pursued by the NSA, Australian Intelligence, and the Deep State for years, which apparently now have launched attacks by setting him up to say things which his former allies, actually puppets of the government, find objectionable. But perhaps his Deep State attributions were all just a joke as well, lost on the rubes who supported him. I wonder how long he could have credibly expected to maintain the limited financial, intellectual, or moral support he had, given his demeanor toward others, including his own audience members and associates, whom he regularly disparages.
We, the typical people in this culture who don’t possess the logical capacity to understand his points are left trying to determine when he’s “joking,” when he is implying something, when he is working off of his own particular definitions, when he is misrepresenting the words of climate scientists or others, and when we can actually rely upon what he is saying. But in terms of the logical soundness of public proclamations, if one were to rob someone’s house, and then publicly admitted it in a way that the “typical person in this culture“ would take to sound serious, would that then be considered a reasonable or believable form of defense of innocence? Could one absolve themselves of wrong doing simply by admitting to it on stage because of the illogical nature of such pronouncements?
Furthermore, and in contradiction to McPherson’s claims, publicly admitted narcissist, author, visiting psychology professor, and recognized authority on narcissism Sam Vaknin has elaborated extensively on the personality disorder he himself suffers from, a disorder which is not governed by logic as most people would understand it. Vaknin elucidated in one video why self defeating behavior, often publicly enacted, is indeed part of the narcissist’s pattern.
We obviously can’t psychologically diagnose McPherson, which is a task left to experts such as the ones who may or may not have already assessed him, but since he has brought up sociopathy and narcissism in his own blogs and public talks in a manner keeping with what I observe to be his continued twisting of language and the truth, there is nothing to say we can’t have our eyebrows raised and discuss what he said, and how it applies to a larger pattern of behavior he has shown us. Furthermore, McPherson does indeed understand how aspects of his behavior have been perceived in the past. In a 2014 blog post entitled Only Love Remains, nearly two and a half years before he appeared to regret his narcissist “joke” that had “gone south,” (as if he somehow couldn’t anticipate the kind of reaction he got) he said, “My perceived lack of empathy led some to conclude I was a sociopath.” Later in the post he states that he does have empathy for his students, yet in the face of these conclusions from others, the public “jokes” he then later made and his deceptive and dehumanizing behavior, to my mind, is a troubling combination to say the least. In this light, I would speculate that his public “jokes” may have in reality been a kind of cover used to intentionally obscure reality, to normalize his own troubling behavior in the framework of jokes to create in his mind a kind of nebulous and “logical” plausible deniability that would help him remain free of responsibility for anything he said or did.
To continue on the previously mentioned Nature Bats Last blog in which McPherson implies the Deep State is after him, he goes on to say, in reference to his future activities, that:
“All this assumes industrial civilization holds beyond September, 2017. This seems unlikely considering an Arctic Ocean free of ice (or nearly so), along with global financial bubbles on the verge of popping, “flash droughts” threatening grain production, global decline of net fossil energy, the ongoing and near-term false-flag-induced military misadventures involving North Korea and other locations around the globe, and a few dozen other thre””ats to this set of living arrangements.”
Who would make such claims of a likely end of civilization in a month‘s time? Someone who deals in science and evidence, whose words should be taken seriously and trusted? Was this just another absurdist joke by the “court jester” that we idiots that once followed his work just don‘t get? That would be hard to believe, as just a few months prior, on the Gary Null show, he had made claims for the likelihood of an ice free Arctic for the summer of 2017 somewhere between July and September. McPherson had created yet another moment replete with shock value and intense emotional focus with his apocalyptic projection. But if one truly believes that civilization is likely to collapse in a month’s time, one might ask why a self proclaimed “anarchist” who wrote the critique of modern society “Walking Away from Empire” and who earnestly believed the projections and commentaries he has made, would then move to harness the very mechanisms of empire he supposedly opposes to pursue a libel lawsuit in that final stretch of days, a shortening time period in which he proclaimed “only love remains.” From my perspective, such an appeal to imminent destruction was as disingenuous and deceptive as everything else he has said which I have outlined above. I believe his proclamation functioned as the kind of charged potentiality that McPherson could use for garnering attention, heightening and manipulating emotional intensity, testing the gullibility and loyalty of followers in his community, while with the most recent prediction of immanent collapse and the accompanying Deep State narrative, it potentially served to divert focus from the real issue of emotional harm at hand.
What I have discussed here is not a single event, but a constellation of behavior I have witnessed or been made aware of that paints a larger picture. While McPherson has railed against the excesses and abuses of empire, in the end I find him to be little more than an extension of those very nihilistic, self serving systems he criticized. His message, that there is nothing to be done to save the human species, while elaborated in his monster list of climate feedbacks, is not a message he alone can uniquely deliver, though his doomsday predictions have certainly garnered devoted followers. In our self destructive culture, a person with a related perspective of impending doom and sufficient interest and motivation, could similarly collate the work of others, as he has done. More immediately, and perhaps more essentially, anyone, including those masses for whom McPherson holds in open contempt, could similarly conclude that the end is nigh. Just visit the right street corner or airport in any major city, or the pews of various religious fundamentalist organizations, and one can find, alive and well, an analogous conclusion for McPherson’s message of certain destruction, even if arrived at from very different assumptions. How those conclusions were reached ultimately would not matter if the critical-thought-erasing sentiment “in the end only love remains,” were to be unquestioningly embraced. Furthermore, this emotional appeal which he has espoused is an echo of already established, if not widely practiced, spiritual sentiments that only hold positive weight when they are pronounced by those who honestly model them. In a world replete with deception, to value those words means to recognize when they are spoken disingenuously, in order to prevent the message, that love endures, from being cynically killed off by the actions of unsuitable messengers. In the end, I find that suggesting that there was an attempt to kill his message through all of this, is to once again divert attention from the real issues, which in fact sit at the core of why our deceptive, manipulative, and exploitative society has brought us to this point of deep social and ecological disruption. Instead of worrying about the message of an embattled “truth teller,” I have concluded that, while containing elements of truth, the truth was never the central concern within McPherson’s platform, that instead his was the smoke and mirrors of a host of destructive and deceptive manipulations. It is for this reason I have concluded that as we look to move away from the harmful patterns tolerated by our wider society, no matter the amount of remaining time we have individually or collectively on this planet, it is in our best interest to also walk away from Guy McPherson.