Tomorrow, June 16, will mark one year since Danielle Kurin, an archaeology assistant professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, sued me for defamation for my reporting about her misconduct. She is seeking at least $18 million in damages, in addition to an undetermined amount in punitive damages, and an order from the Court directing me to delete my reporting about her and issue retractions.
As I have stated repeatedly throughout this year, I stand by all my reporting about Kurin and her ex-husband Enmanuel Gomez Choque. Indeed, via discovery in the lawsuit and continued reporting about Kurin and her misconduct and abuses, I have uncovered voluminous additional evidence to back up that reporting, in addition to new confirmation of my original posts.
Kurin's response to the vigorous defense my attorneys and I have mounted against the lawsuit has consisted of innumerable false statements in addition to those listed in the original Complaint, which was filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York, White Plains branch. Most recently, Kurin has sought to misrepresent her apparent continuing relationship with her now ex-husband Gomez, with whom she claims to have dissociated herself.
Most importantly, Kurin, whose sole purpose for launching this lawsuit is to silence me and the survivors of, and witnesses to, her abuse behavior, has engaged in a concerted campaign of harassment of all those who have sought to bring her misconduct to public light. Part of that campaign consists of going back on her original promise not to seek the identities of my sources (see now deleted Tweet from her attorney above.) Instead, Kurin, through discovery in the case, has sought not only the identities of all of my sources, but also the identities of those who have commented anonymously on my continuing blog posts about the results of my reporting.
In addition, at the end of May, just after a court-ordered mediation in the case broke down and failed to produce a settlement of the lawsuit, Kurin employed a "sock puppet" Twitter account to launch a vicious attack on me and one of my key sources, a former student of hers and an early victim of her bullying and abuse. The account employs images of my two cats, Camille and Thomas, and until it was locked down after she became aware that we were monitoring the Tweets, Kurin Tweeted nearly 150 times. The Tweets, in my personal view, are disturbing, perhaps because Kurin has come to realize that her lawsuit against me is likely to end in defeat.
Today, my legal team has filed a Letter Motion with the federal judge in the case, asking for a protective order to stop Kurin's harassment and intimidation of those involved in the case, as well as to protect my First Amendment right to publish the findings of my reporting. The letter includes descriptions of Kurin's harassment of witnesses, as well as descriptions of the very disturbing Tweets, which include multiple images of my still-in-print archaeology book, "The Goddess and the Bull," photographed in dumpsters and amongst cat excrement. I have included some samples here and at the bottom of this post.
As my legal team and I continue to vigorously defend this case, I hope readers will follow events as well as help with the legal defense fund. By doing this, you will be supporting freedom of the press and the rights of survivors to tell their stories free of retaliation and further abuse. You can donate at this GoFundMe link. Thank you.
|(Kurin superimposed my archaeology book about Neolithic Catalhoyuk in Turkey over photos of a cat litter box. Many of the Tweets are scatological in nature)|
|(Here Kurin refers to the breakdown in court-ordered mediation and expresses confidence that she will prevail in the defamation suit)|
The Letter Motion to the Court can be found at this link.
|(In a number of Tweets, Kurin, who is Jewish as am I, tries to associate me with Nazis and Hitler)|
|(In this and the previous Tweet, Kurin uses scatological images to refer to me)|
In addition to all this, Kurin has made comments referring my death as something she looks forward to. From the Letter Motion:
Using an account name “@Camilleoncroton,” a reference to Mr. Balter’s cat named Camille, Dr. Kurin posted nearly 150 messages that contained vulgar, rude, threatening, and entirely false statements about Mr. Balter. For example, she captioned a screenshot of one of Mr. Balter’s Tweets, “you will soon die and I will feast on your face.” She also posted a picture of a urinal with the caption, “[Michael Balter’s] Tombstone itself is coming along nicely as u can see. It serves a dual purpose as a urinal” and the comment, “Makes it more convenient to piss on his grave!”
I am not a psychologist, and so I cannot offer any professional opinion on what this all means in psychological terms. But these Tweets are unsettling and make it clear that Kurin is being enabled by those who are helping her pursue this frivolous, baseless lawsuit.
Update: Judge has given Kurin and her legal team a week to respond to our Letter Motion:
ORDER deferring ruling on  Letter Motion for Conference: By 6/22/21, plaintiff shall file a letter-response to defendant's letter-motion. (HEREBY ORDERED by Judge Vincent L. Briccetti)(Text Only Order) (pp)
Update June 17, 2021: Some additional screenshots of Kurin's sock puppet Tweets.
So, ummm...what are we gonna do about these death threats, y’all?
The camilleonceoton Kurin sockpuppet started posting at least since May 22, 2021. The tweet is deleted but it was probably related to the NASW complaint because Kurin randomly tagged NASW in the thread. The thread author said Kurin was probably intending to respond to something else given the left field tweet. This shows that Kurin was not trying to hide the account and wanted people to find it. It was easily findable if you searched “Michael Balter.”
I assume it’s a sure thing that she’s the one who opened the account and wrote the tweets?
Regarding the request to reveal the anonymous commenters, see this very similar legal precedent
And about the importance of speaking out against sexual violence, even if anonymously
Thanks for the links. Yes, the law and court decisions are clear that anonymous commenting is protected speech.
I also wonder about her father who's paying her legal fees and anyone else supporting the decisions of a person so mentally deranged, so criminally insane...
Chancellor Henry Yang never responded to the letter sent to him by a victim of sexual assault at the hands of Enmanuel Gomez Choque at Kurin’s 2018 field school in Peru. As a reminder of what she wrote him:
Bio on Jun 1: “Fact Checking a Felonious narcissist-cyberbully-stalker-racist-liar. I’m literally the only pussy that Michael loves.”
“I too enjoy an iron first up the ass”
“Srsly, have you ever heard of a Real Journalist ‘revenge porning’ conspiratorial blogs probing ppls sex lives?
Of course not because those are the actions of a cyber bully and stalker, not a professional.
NASW said it best when they when they rained shit on MB”
“Ppl with Narcisstic Pers. Disorder are exhausting bc they never stop. Remember Trump? Balter is a conman cut from the same cloth. That’s why he’s always “won”: bc he non stop bullies, stalks, and harasses until the other side gives in or gives up.”
“Thought experiment: Would ur average juror think these statements were made by a professional journalist or a professional Pervert? (This is why Balter is melting down hard this week. Reality might b setting in…) Balter’s “Deep Throat” is just him choking on his own dick.”
“Balters lawyers are *desperate* to get out of this case- they kno they got conned. Crazy client can’t resist stalking & lying. No impulse ctrl & pathetic remedial measure r actions of a guilty mind. Can u imagine having m untreated NPD - Balter for a client! Yikes.”
“There’s no such think as a former LIAR. Balter is a “failed travel writer” & was never a real journalist. Thats why hes been rejected by everyone, everywhere. He’s A malicious cyberbully stalker whose terrified and knows he’s full of shit. The con has stopped working”
Kurin superimposed Balter’s face on a painting of Henry VIII and labelled it “HEMORRHOID VIII” The tweet accompanying it read “The NPD-Stalker M.O. Deluded grandiosity, lashing out, authoritarianism, deflection, and lies upon lies upon lies.”
“That’s not happening this time. Hence the baseless attacks. Think of a crazy, cornered, rabid shithouse rat. The rat can only lash out. Balter is like the rabid rat (apologies to rats everywhere)”
“Thanks to the dozens and dozens of ppl sending in memes. Balter is in meltdown mode. Again.”
“Total creeper. What do you think is Balters fav keyword on pronhub? My guess: ‘Scatman’”
“Lying about ur service is called STOLEN VALOR MB got court-marshaled--hauled to military court--twice! U know who goes to military court? Ppl who commit war crimes. Ppl who are traitors to their comrades & country Ppl who commit serious misconduct.”
“Remember: some one with Narcissistic Personality disorder will NEVER admit to a mistake. Blater is obviously on a short leash with his Pro Bono attorneys What we are witnessing now is just the pathology playing itself out”
“Recall: Mr. DickCheese himself said that truth was the absolute defense against defamation. If he’d been truthful, the case would have been thrown out or settled long ago. Now a jury gets to decide if MB is a lying piece of shit cyber bullying stalker with untreated NPD. (He is)”
A photo of “My Struggle” by Adolf Hitler with Balter’s face superimposed. Kurin altered the title of the book as “My Struggle because its always about me” and had this caption: “Amiright folks?”
“This is the same reason he’ll lose his legal case. Classic NPD. No impulse control. Inability to take personal responsibility, doubles down on abusive behavior, rules don’t apply, self-deafeating behavior, can’t admit mistakes, etc etc.”
“Balter used to call himself ‘Professor.’ But Mr. Stolen Valor was telling a lie so his lawyers made him change it or they’d bolt. Ps- Balter was FIRED from his last job as a low-rated adjunct instructor teaching 1 class. Students called him “CREEPY.” They were right.”
pt 2 to follow
“A total failure both personally and professionally. Balter is so jealous and ragey bc he & his methods have been rejected by all but the craziest of conspiracy theorists.”
“And, like any feline I will eat your face when you die”
“That’s exactly what Blaters keyboard looks like--except his is covered with a crust of old man semen”
“Ur an *Expert microscopist* you say? A what year did you get that MA in Bio--1970s, right? That was a half century ago you stupid piece of petrified shit. Did U even have electricity back then? Note: Deluded arrogance is a manifestation of the NPD.”
“Justice Blater helped the ACLU collate photocopies in 1980-that makes him a brilliant law-type guy in his own mind”
“Friendly reminder that Racist Uniformed Festering DisckSore Blater is attacking illiterate Quechua-speaking peasants who were tortured, disabled, disappeared, & forcibly displaced. Classy.”
“The National Association of Science Writer found that this racist piece of excrement committed egregious acts of deception, Harassment, intimidation, and cyber bullying. Boucoup irony ¿non?”
“This does not bode well for a well-known lying piece-of-shit who falsely accuses ppl of rape everyday. A lying loser will lose his case about lying. Have fun in jail or the homeless mens’ shelter you psychopathic fuck.”
“Loser. Just know that while you confide in this creepy old wanker, he WILL be jacking off. Let that image linger, ladies.”
“U Jealous? Absolutely. Slighted? Yes, but only if you mattered. And you don’t. You are radioactive. How’s that sub stack going? Terribly? How unsurprising.”
A south-park style caricature of Balter with “#Nambla” written on his shirt. “Basement dweller-cyberbully-cat blogger-Pr0n king” “Only thing missing is the tin foil hat”
“You really disgust me. I bet your Twitter password is your cats birthdays”
“When Blater is on the Beat, he beats one out. It must be like throttling the neck of Turkey. Gobble gobble”
“This dumb bitch who is uglier in person supports a antisemite racist. Judge a skank by the friends she keeps. Question for Ms. Cockcobbler: did u gravitate to bLater after your step-father rejected you?”
“Bwahahah you resigned before you could get booted. Just like every. Single. Job. You’ve ever had, you were rejected and fired. That is common in ppl with NPD. You aren’t fooling anyone you stupid fuck”
“Do you think a man who was winning his lawsuit would melt down like this? Of course not. Remember we are dealing with a very sick cyber bully stalker and cat blogger. The bluster is a sign of internal weakness and fear”
“What Blater is doing now in terms of playing w language, moving platforms, and burying defamatory postings in boring travel stories no on reads or likes is called ‘remedial measures’ He’s changed his language because he knows he fucked up. Big time.”
A screenshot of Balter’s substack with “Classic Narcissist! Lol! Textbook! Omg this is so pathetic. You DO suck ur own dick afterall!” “When Shit-for-Brains Stalker reads this, we will suddenly see anonymous comment lauding his rap skills or whatever the fuck he’s going on about. Prepare for gaslighting in 3...2...1…”
A picture of Jewish concentration camp prisoners with Balter’s portrait. Balter has a Jewish star on his forehead. Other screenshots of Balter’s tweets about Israel’s bombing of Gaza. A wikipedia article with the Jewish population of New York City highlighted. “Yet another example of Balter’s incredible stupidity. Remember, he’s going to court in NY with a jury of his peers. Who r his peers? And how might they react to his bigotry & lies? Yep. U done fucked up. Again. How does it feel to be a perennial loser? I wouldn’t know.”
“Wasting time of 4 NYC pro Bono attys +paralegals: $3000/hr Losing the Defamation Law Suit: $18 mln Losing ur house&car when ur wife divorces you: $150k The look of a lying narcissistic psychopath when a jury finds him guilty: priceless There are some thing money can’t buy”
“So typical of the Narcissist. Baby Balter has never apologized or admitted to a mistake in his entire life bc he has a serious personality disorder
The disconnect is astonishing
Also, you will soon die and I will feast on your face”
“Yep, these uppity Indians are totally all ultra wealthy cosmopolitan investment bankers. It’s not surprising (but still pathetic) that ppl with antisocial personality disorders would attack the most vulnerable among us.”
“From garbage you came, to garbage you will return”
“Bwhahahaha I think a certain shitstain is stanning me… triggered? See, Someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder has many weaknesses. These include ego and shame among many others. Makes it easy to drive them nuts. PS--Fagan told me to tell you to fuck off”
A series of photos showing the same book in many trash cans and dumpsters. “Thank you to the *dozens* of ppl who participating in our “Godless Bullshit” Trashy Balter Dumpster Fire contest. Great work!” “Keep em coming (haha! Ppl already threw dirty diapers on shitstain Balters toilet paper book”
“ICYMI: cyber stalker-bully-harassing-liar Michael Balter has been emasculated and neutralized. Creepy 74 yo man gets his rocks off ‘comforting’ young vulnerable females. He has admitted as much on various occasions. Watch out ladies.”
“Baby Balter is bitching bc mediation failed. Why is that? Apparently he was desperate 2 settle. But the con didn’t work
Now he’s going to trial & he’s scared to death
Its bc he knows he’ll b found guilty by peers in a court of law
So expect more unhinged behavior from MB”
I find it interesting that she has soaked up all the narratives of the anti Balter mob and has capitalized on the NASW complaint. Another example of how the anti Balter crowd’s lies and dishonest narratives have only served to undermine justice.
Re Schuyler’s Nazi salute episode:
In light of these recent revelations, Liz Quinlan & Ayushi Nayak should hang their head in shame. Not only did they try to silence our messenger (*OURS*, not theirs), the person they so vehemently defended in now helping Kurin in her “legal” quest to revictimize the survivors. Shame shame shame shame shame shame.
Also, is she really claiming that her husband and his family are illiterate? I don't know why that family continues to associate with her.
Of course the family is not illiterate. Gomez’s father is a former mayor and the children are well educated. The family is well known and influential in the Andahuaylas region.
Why Kurin is being enabled in her behavior is a very good question.
And if we thought it doesn't get more surreal than that, lest we forget that the “pending” Kurin family Non-profit,
Alliance For The Prevention Of Cyberbullying,
is “Coming Soon”
“If approved, your donations are tax deductible.”
Right now the page doesn’t exist and at first I thought it was fake, but according to
It looks like it was crawled by Wayback Machine on May 28, so about the time Kurin could have purchased and used the domain (and therapy she sure urgently needs.) The snapshots just redirect to the venture.com domain registrar.
Over the last year she and Scher have, through their lies and bad faith, made a farce of the legal proceedings, while the court, with its slow and deliberate response, has allowed them seemingly limitless space to hone their dirty tricks.
Likewise, in UCSB’s inept and unconscionable handling of Kurin’s Title IX case, the predator is repeatedly advantaged while the prey are revictimized.
Even when Kurin ultimately fails (and fail she will), sickeningly, some part of her perverse and evil nature will still have won, her worst instincts sharpened, for future use, on the wheel of others’ pain.
It is a tragedy. And when the dust finally settles on this ugly epoch, the human wreckage will persist for a long, long time. God help the survivors, most of whom will have to bear their suffering in silence for the rest of their lives.
There are so many things about this that I just don’t get…
Is this how a university prof writes? The syntax and spelling are so so poor… she even misspelled Balter half of the time, and you’d think that at this point she’d know. Why risk her legal case and tenure for a bunch of hateful Tweets? The anti-survivors, anti-Semitic and anti-indigenous smears are certainly over the top and exactly what her academic circle will never tolerate. And adding the death threats, it’s just too much! Was she simply venting and thinking that she won’t get caught? There are 0 following and followers to that account. Who was reading?
So I wonder… are the lawyers admitting it now because the evidence is undeniable, or is there another more sinister reason? Are you sure it’s not some sort of legal entrapment, some ploy to get a prosecutable reaction from you?
Because if not, the only other explanation I can think of is that she completely lost her mind.
Kurin is well known among those who know her for her poor spelling in certain contexts, but she is capable of writing reasonably well in a professional context.
The Twitter account was public until the very end and she made little attempt to hide the fact it was her. It was very easy to confirm that. Many of the Tweets were addressed directly at me. I don't have the professional qualifications to speculate what they mean in psychological terms, although the desperation behind them is palpable.
I don't think there was anything sinister beyond the content of the Tweets themselves. They only hurt her, in the lawsuit, with her colleagues, with her chances of having any kind of career going forward. Those who care about her should stop enabling someone who is not acting in their best interests.
As was mentioned earlier, poor grammar and spelling are ‘on brand’ for the author—she is famously deficient as a writer; furthermore, she deliberately misspells Balter’s name as ‘Blatter’ and other variations because she has in the past ridiculed him as ‘Michael Small Bladder,’ or some childish taunt to that effect. As was true of the other sock puppet accounts, she very much intended for the public to see it (contrary to her lies about it being ‘artistic therapy’ for her eyes only); it was indeed available to be viewed for weeks and was seen by a number of her colleagues, some of whom took screen shots and passed them along to others. And as with the previous sock puppet accounts, its sole purpose was to harass and intimidate Michael Balter, his witnesses, and various survivors.
The mental derangement of it all may be the hardest thing to fathom, but it is also in keeping with the personality of its author. She simply can’t control herself, and this is only one episode in a long history of irrational and impulsive behavior which has repeatedly got her into trouble and put her career into jeopardy.
*Ding Ding Ding* WE HAVE A WINNER, FOLKS!
See this footnote in the Letter Motion linked to above, which directly addresses the question raised:
Counsel for Dr. Kurin falsely informed UCSB that the Twitter account was private and only publicly available for “two brief moments.” This is categorically false and further evidences Dr. Kurin’s refusal to accept responsibility for any of her actions. We (along with an independent IT firm) accessed Dr. Kurin’s Twitter for several days before she disabled public access. Screenshots of the Twitter messages can be provided to the Court upon request.
That’s, ummm...that’s really something.
Reminded me of “REDЯUM” from the Shining.
By the way, terrific book for any archaeology enthusiast. If anyone is interested, some of us had already commented in length about the Goddess and the Bull in these blog posts
That’s a really tough one, even for those of us who don’t wish to bury their head in the test pit or keep pretending they know nothing about this. You may want to read this relevant reflection concerning another Andeanist who is well familiar to the readers of this blog-
(I should stress that Danielle Kurin is not accused as being a sexual predator, but as an enabler of one. As far as I understand, she is further accused of emotional abuse, intimidation and bullying of students.)
Note also that the cited piece was published before Harvard’s recent investigation confirmed the accusations to be true, and stripped Urton from his emeritus status among other harsh sanctions (https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2021/6/11/urton-sanctions/). In light of this finding, scholars may choose other paths to citation.
What we need is a Facebook group like this one:
“Michael Balter takes us on a fascinating journey through the excavations at one of the world’s great archaeological sites. He provides an engrossing chronicle of one of the world’s earliest farming villages and of the personalities and thought of the archaeologists engaged in the research—the human side of archaeology.” —Brian Fagan, University of California, Santa Barbara
Just take a moment to think about it.
She walks around her parents’ neighborhood to look for a full dumpster or trash can.
She then carefully props Balter’s book inside so the front cover will be facing the camera (a couple of these dumpsters are quite deep, which makes you wonder if she has to jump inside).
She carefully piles other people’s garbage (including dirty diapers?) on top, while making sure the book title is still visible.
When she is satisfied with her still-life, she snaps a photo.
She moves the garbage and fishes the book from out the trash can or dumpster (maybe having to jump back in and out again).
She then moves on to the next dumpster.
And to the next.
And to the next.
If this psychosis is what passes as therapy these days, then may the Goddess help her students.
‘Tell me you’re jealous of someone else’s book without saying you’re jealous of someone else’s book.’
Given how UCSB has behaved so far, if she hadn’t sued they probably would have looked the other way on Balter’s reporting, too. The blog posts would have receded into relative obscurity, her colleagues would have grumbled about her in private, and her tenure bid would probably have succeeded, as chilling as that is to imagine. Now—and especially after this—she’s ruined. (I mean, stick a fork in her, the bish is DONE.)
Let this go down for all time as a cautionary tale about arrogantly overplaying your hand to the point of total self-destruction.
Kurin claimed that I was a bigamist, that I had never divorced my first wife, and that my current wife was going to leave me soon.
Kurin viciously attacked, repeatedly, a former student who was a victim of her intense bullying and who is now a courageous witness in the case. My attorneys have asked the Court to protect her and other survivors of, and witnesses to, Kurin's abuses from further attack and persecution.
Michael why do you think Richard Kurin continues to bankroll this lawsuit against you, and enable legal pressure against those who speak against his daughter and son in law?
Kurin’s legal team filed its response to our first Letter Motion late yesterday, I will link to it soon but meanwhile it can be found on the court docket. Kurin continues to deflect from the real issues—my fully accurate, fully documented reporting on her misconduct—with distractions which are unlikely to impress the judge. Kurin continues to claim that I write the anonymous comments on this blog, which is not true and for which she has no evidence other than rumors spread by badly intentioned individuals. Kurin also claimed that her sock puppet Twitter account was for therapeutic purposes to help her deal with my “cyberbullying” of her and that it was just light-hearted fun. I will let readers judge the merits of that attitude.
We have now sent the judge a second Letter Motion asking for sanctions, including dismissal of the case for withholding the Letter of Censure and other documents. We are waiting to see how the judge wants to handle all of this, which we asked be considered together.
You will certainly have widespread support if you choose to do so. So many people would dearly love to see this toxic and plainly despicable woman finally receive her much-deserved comeuppance.
“Kurin continues to claim that I write the anonymous comments on this blog”
SAY WHAAAT?!!? After I spent so much thought and creative energy on some of these comments, she now dares to claim that someone else wrote them? I should sue her for defamation! Then in court, I will just say that I wrote the more offensive ones for therapeutic purposes and as light-hearted fun.
“RE: Kurin v. Balter, 7:20-cv-4613 – Response to Letter Requesting Motions Conference”
“Dear Judge Briccetti:
We are counsel for Plaintiff Danielle Kurin (“Dr. Kurin”) in the above captioned action.”
“Mr. Balter complains that Dr. Kurin harassed him and a former student identified as a witness on Twitter. Dr. Kurin’s account was created just last month as a recommended therapeutic exercise to cope with Balter’s cyberbullying and was intended to be only narrowly shared. Unlike Mr. Balter's twitter account, Dr. Kurin's parody account had no followers, followed no twitter users, and none of the posts were sent to twitter users. Dr. Kurin posted, as Mr. Balter correctly points out, over 100 memes regarding him, and a few that made veiled reference to a former student who has openly and non-anonymously attacked Plaintiff on Twitter and Mr. Balter’s blog dozens, if not hundreds of times. Dr. Kurin under the Twitter handle @camilleoncroton aka
“Camille, The Insult Comic Kitty,” wrote as the fictional and satirical voice of Mr. Balter’s cat, Camille, which Mr. Balter often Tweets about. The “oncroton” portion of the name is a nod to Mr. Balter’s town. The inspiration for the character was Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, a puppet character appearing on TV shows including Late Night with Conan O’Brien. One of Triumph’s more famous punchlines ends with “…for me to poop on!” hence the references posted by Dr. Kurin in relation to animal defecation and urination on Mr. Balter’s book.
Mr. Balter claims that Dr. Kurin threatened him “with bodily harm or otherwise.” Mr. Balter’s assertion is false, which is why his letter provides no specific examples. Mr. Balter’s closest example is that, while comically posing as Mr. Balter’s cat on Twitter, Dr. Kurin wrote, “you will soon die and I will feast on your face.” Dr. Kurin was referencing instances in the news and pop culture where beloved pets have eaten their owners (remember, Plaintiff is speaking as Mr. Balter’s
beloved cat). An example of one such story discussing how domestic cats like Camille eat their owners, was published by The Washington Post in January 2020. 2 For whatever reason, animals tend to start at the face or neck of a body. The internet has embraced this morbid curiosity and turned it into a comedic meme found on websites including Reddit, where users juxtapose pictures of adorable puppies, rabbits, kittens, and other harmless animals, like Camille, with text such as “I will eat your face.” An example of the harmless, but perhaps dark meme invoked by Dr. Kurin is
Mr. Balter also complains about Dr. Kurin’s protected speech ridiculing Mr. Balter for his repeated offensive anti-Semitic rants about Israel and Judaism.
Lastly, Dr. Kurin did comment about a former student – from 8 years ago - that Mr. Balter has identified as a witness. The student has repeatedly openly discussed on the internet her extensive history of mental illness and substance abuse, as cited by Dr. Kurin. Dr. Kurin did not identify the individual to protect her privacy. This student has engaged in dozens, if not hundreds of instances of harassment of Dr. Kurin and Dr. Kurin’s witnesses in this case on Mr. Balter’s behalf. The student, a close confidant, ally and possible co-conspirator of Mr. Balter, even bragged to him about her conquest of intimidation and boasted about the reputational harm that she and Mr. Balter
will cause in retaliation for testifying on behalf of Dr. Kurin. The student’s objectively offensive harassment and intimidation was noticed by third parties and led an archaeology social media group to ban her.”
Kurin's attorney neglected to mention the Tweets in which his client repeatedly called me a racist, photoshopped me next to Hitler and implied that he and I were good friends, photoshopped me next to Donald Trump and implied that he and I were close associates, photoshopped a Star of David on my forehead, along with defamatory, abusive, and harassing statements about a witness in the case whom Kurin abused brutally when she was a student in one of her classes.
As you say, the Tweets raise serious concerns about Kurin's mental stability (something that has been mentioned to me many times by people who know her personally) and concerns on my part that she could indeed do something to harm me, my family, and, seriously, perhaps even our cats. She knows where I live.
It also raises questions about the motives of those who are enabling her in this lawsuit.
Kurin’s student had dared to pipe ip publicly against the dishonest attacks and mobbing against Balter only to be targeted, stalked in private facebook groups, and bullied on twitter. When she found out that the archaeology community was posting screenshots of her tweets that showed how triggered and angry she was at being harassed and disbelieved (they were insisting she was a sockpuppet of Balter) and encouraging the nearly 10k members to block and report her on twitter (she was NOT a member of any of these groups unlike what Scher said), she grew even angrier and dared the people who targeted her to come out in the open and say those things to her face. It was a scary mob mentality episode that still gives me chills to this day. This is how they referred to her in these facebook groups and posted her twitter screenshots: “I don’t mean this to sound like a ‘pitchforks and torches’ sort of thing, but it might be helpful to have some information about the sock puppet accounts so that they could be reported? Not that reporting does all that much here or on twitter but still…”. They did manage to mass block and report her twitter account, which led to it being “shadow banned.” Can you imagine what a bullying victim would feel seeing how the same academia community that failed her when she was Kurin’s student have again banded together to target her again? All because she had the audacity to raise her head above the parapet and defend Balter? She even outed her identity to go against the accusations of being a sockpuppet. This isn’t the only time survivors had to out themselves to the mob to set the record straight regarding Balter’s actions. Whatever you think of Balter, it is disgusting going after the survivors who had gone to him.
I have no idea what Scher means by substance abuse. The student has only mentioned being prescribed dangerous drugs by UCSB after her being bullied to the point of almost committing suicide. If this is what they are referring to, it just shows how low they have gone.
Anyone with even a little bit of research skill can check all of this out on twitter.
“Mr. Balter also complains about Dr. Kurin’s protected speech ridiculing Mr. Balter for his repeated offensive anti-Semitic rants about Israel and Judaism.”
“Protected speech”? What a stupid-ass legal argument. Balter protesting about human-rights violations against Palestinians (who BTW are also Semitic) may be anti-Israeli government, but it is certainly not anti-Semitic. But you know what is? Posting pictures on the internet of a Jewish journalist and an adjunct university instructor, with their head superimposed on a Nazi officer and Nazi youth standing next to Hitler, on the cover of “Mein Kampf,” and on a concentration camp prisoner with a Jewish yellow badge on his forehead. It is also extremely abusive to Holocaust survivors who still live among us and may have stumbled upon this horrific Twitter account.
Seriously UCSB, I saw faculty kicked out for much much less.
Dear Mr. Scher-
Just in case your client is planning to play the Jewish card in her defense, you may want to save yourself some embarrassment and brush up on Jewish laws regarding Jews marrying non-Jews under the auspices of the Catholic Church. Just saying.
P.S. I have nothing whatsoever against interfaith marriage, but I really don’t like hypocrites who use religious-based arguments as a legal weapon.
“narrowly shared” implies that her carefully selected readership knew perfectly well that this hate speech was out there, yet did nothing to report or stop it. There are consequences to this type of conduct within academic circles, so I am sure many would like to know the identity of these accomplices.
But yes, she may have shared this with members of her family, including her father Richard Kurin, a top official at the Smithsonian Institution whose role in enabling his daughter has yet to be fully explored, as well as other academics she thought were sympathetic to her (note that in the year since the lawsuit was filed, and more than a year since I first reported on her misconduct, NOT ONE colleague has come forward publicly to defend her. NOT ONE. That alone says a lot.
This is an ugly business and I get no joy out of having to keep fighting with someone who is obviously suffering from issues of various kinds. But she filed the lawsuit against me, and she can end it if she wants to. She has had plenty of chances.
‘BPD Karen,’ here. I feel the need to address a number of points: first off, contrary to Mr. Scher’s repeated accusations, I have never acted as an ‘agent’ or ‘co-conspirator’ of Michael Balter’s. I am, very simply, a former student who has personally experienced Dr. Kurin’s bullying and have decided to speak out about it. I have also volunteered myself as his witness because I believe in his mission of exposing bad actors in academia, especially those whose misdeeds are excused by the institutions which employ them. (What’s more, Mr. Balter and I enjoy a genuine friendship, a form of human relationship Dr. Kurin and Mr. Scher may want to investigate, between lawsuits.)
Despite what has been asserted about me on Twitter, I’m not the anonymous author of ‘racist’ remarks suggesting that the people of Andahuaylas are ‘well-educated’ (is that really a racist thing to say???). I have never been to Peru and do not feel compelled to speak on it in any fashion. (Such comments, I would suggest, were probably made by archaeologists who are familiar with the region and who follow this blog.)
In Mr. Scher’s letter to the court, he alleges that I have been part of a campaign to harass and intimidate Dr. Kurin’s witnesses. Apart from one occasion where I offered my opinion to Dr. Clancy that she is a ‘phony,’ I have never spoken to any Kurin witness. And I have never plotted to destroy Dr. Clancy (I must say, I find this constant ‘cloak-and-dagger’ talk amusing; it leaves me wondering if Mr. Scher has seen too many James Bond movies). I *have* mused, once or twice, that her reputation might be badly damaged by allying herself with a bully and abuser (especially as Dr. Clancy is a prominent voice of ‘intersectional feminism’). I think it a reasonable form of conjecture, given the circumstance.
In attempting to make the case that I am a serial pest tormenting the field of archaeology, Mr. Scher includes in his letter a screenshot of someone alleging that my ‘harassment’ forced an entire FB group to go to ground, as it were. It is true that I once called out the name of a private social media group after several people in that group sent me screenshots of various archaeologists conferring on how to silence me. (‘Torches and pitchforks’ was their phrase, as I recall.) I’d also like to point out that the remark which was screenshotted in Mr. Scher’s letter was made by an archaeologist who has engaged in rather troubling behavior in her own right. In fact, I have been forced to block this person several times and ask that she stop harassing me through her named account, as well as several anonymous twitter handles.
Mr. Scher would like you to believe that my joke about CamilleOnCroton being a form of ‘animal cruelty’ is on par with his client’s publicly calling me ‘BPD Karen,’ a ‘priviledge old white lady (sic),’ and a ‘dumb racist bitch,’ among other slurs. He may wish to revisit his kindergarten lessons on what constitutes a ‘stick’ and what constitutes a ‘stone.’
I find it risible that Mr. Scher condemns me for having criticized Dr. Kurin ‘openly and non-anonymously’ on my twitter page (aka, standing in my truth), as opposed to his client’s bashing me, anonymously, on her sock puppet account (aka, ‘creative therapy’). Surely, standing up for one’s beliefs in the open light of day is rather more commendable than launching cowardly assaults from behind a cloak of anonymity, or so I would have thought.
Mr. Scher has also repeatedly made mention of my ‘extensive substance abuse.’ This is in reference to my history of having been dangerously misprescribed a certain medication by UCSB. (He typically cites this alongside my psychiatric diagnosis.) It would seem that Mr. Scher is saying this in an effort to smear, discredit and embarrass me, a tactic which I believe very seriously calls into question his ethics as a member of the legal profession. (He also says I was Dr. Kurin’s student eight years ago, when in fact I took her class in late 2015. I’m not sure if this was sloppiness on his part or some calculated feint to make my complaints look like irrelevant ancient history.)
Lastly, I am NOT Mr. Balter’s sole interlocutor in the comments section of this blog, as has been repeatedly alleged (again with the paranoia!). Until now, I have really never engaged with it at all, though I do read the comments with great interest.
Oh, yes: on a very personal note, it is true that I live with my mother. She is in her eighties and I moved in with her a number of years ago after she fell and was injured. (I would have thought an anthropologist with a respect for traditional societies would see the virtue in looking after one’s elders.) It is NOT true that Dr. Kurin contacted her and discussed my being thrown out of her house. Nor is it possible (unless Dr. Kurin is clairvoyant) that she spoke with my father, as he died in 1987 (and I find the false account of his being alive rather painful, to say the least). And while I consider myself fortunate to have a home, especially in the beautiful community of Santa Barbara, neither I nor my ‘parents’ could accurately be called ‘rich.’ Not rich enough, at any rate, to launch multiple costly lawsuits in an effort to silence and intimidate my many, many critics.
So there it is, a few of the most misleading and libelous claims about me firmly put to bed. Unfortunately, this is only a sampling of the many mistruths and continued bullying to which I have been subjected. I plan to address it all, and in more depth, at a later date.
Yes, Danielle Kurin could end this lawsuit if she really wanted to and could see that it is an act of self-destruction on her part. But she is being enabled by two men who could also put an end to it. One of them is her father, Richard Kurin of the Smithsonian Institution, and I think much more attention should now be focused on how and why he is keeping this going.
Now I really want to know who is the other.
(fast forward to 0:11)
Also: 1) dude needs to learn how to tie a proper Windsor knot and 2) get the tie straight before going on camera. If this is any indication of his legal skills....
And people wonder why lawyer is the most hated profession.
(Edit: I take that back. Nobody wonders why lawyer is the most hated profession.)
Actually sounds like he’s describing the people who were wronged by his current client. But this was recorded a year prior to Balter’s blog, so maybe since then $18,000,000 made him change his mind as to the type of lawyer he wants to be.
MLK is turning in his grave.
we all believe you and we know you are telling the truth. I admire your courage to stand up to your abuser. Shame on Danielle, Richard Kurin and UCSB who allowed Danielle to remain as a faculty and continue harassing you and others. My heart goes out to you and I hope you take a look at the woman who continues to harass you and say these painful things to you. How can anyone respect her? She married a man after he was accused of sexual assaults. Danielle threw away her career and good name by retaliating against her own students whose safety she jeopardized. She will hopefully never again be employed in academia because everyone believes the brave survivors of assaults and abuse. Please take care of yourself and your mom. Dr. Kurin is done and she is trying to hurt others because her career is likely over. Hopefully, she will bring Clancy down with her too. Everyone knows the truth, but all that matters right now is your healing.
Kinda like how some plastic surgeons will draw the line at excessive procedures while other let their patients go full Bride of Wildenstein.
Comes down to the personal ethics of the practitioner.
I would usually agree with this statement. Even people like Danielle deserve legal representation. HOWEVER, Scher has not acted like an ethical lawyer through his sloppiness, willingness to repeat falsehoods even in legal proceedings, and engagement in vexatious behavior. Also he portrays himself as a feminist and says his role model is MLK, so he should be held to those self professed standards.
A pet theory among those who were following this developing saga from the UCLA front is that Ran Boytner is still somehow involved with her case.
In this letter, we ask the Court to sanction Kurin for trying to conceal the existence of this letter, up to and including dismissal of the case. As I said earlier, the title of the document, Letter of Censure (and not Letter of Commendation) suggests something about its content and why Kurin would not want us to have it.