Friday, March 06, 2009

THE GOLB ARREST has been taken up widely in the media overnight. From the NYT article:
The professor, Norman Golb, has stood behind his theory despite significant criticism. His son, Raphael Haim Golb, has been one of his greatest allies.

But prosecutors said on Thursday that Raphael Golb took defending his father’s theory too far. Mr. Golb is accused of using stolen identities of various people, including a New York University professor who disagreed with his father, to elevate his father’s theory and besmirch its critics, Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, said at a news conference.

Mr. Golb, 49, was arrested Thursday morning and charged in Manhattan Criminal Court with identity theft, criminal impersonation and aggravated harassment. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors said Mr. Golb opened an e-mail account in the name of Lawrence H. Schiffman, the New York University professor who disagreed with Mr. Golb’s father. He sent messages in Professor Schiffman’s name to various people at N.Y.U. and to others involved in the Dead Sea Scrolls debate, fabricating an admission by Professor Schiffman that he had plagiarized some of Professor Golb’s work, Mr. Morgenthau said. Raphael Golb also set up blogs under various names that accused Dr. Schiffman of plagiarism, Mr. Morgenthau said.
Golb defends his son and says these charges are "another attack on his work." The BBC quotes a statement from Schiffman:
Mr Schiffman issued a statement after Mr Golb's arrest thanking the authorities for taking action.

"Reasoned intellectual discourse relies on integrity," the statement said.

"When an individual, in seeking to advance a particular view, engages in impersonation and falsehood, he or she undermines the precepts of higher inquiry."
Incidentally, I recalled overnight that I got one of those fraudulent e-mails back in August. The address of the e-mail had "not been verified" and the site it linked to also looked dodgy, with more "not verified" commenters who looked suspiciously like sock puppets. And, of course, the charges had no merit. So I ignored it.

Background here (immediately preceding post).

UPDATE: Joe Lauer points to this Washington Square News article, which has copies of some of the forged e-mails.