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Harassment Campaign Update for May 2022

I’m going to share four incidents that occurred after my last update on David Deutsch’s harassment campaign. This is with my blog comments disabled and my forum paywalled; otherwise it’d be much worse. And, again, none of these people have taken any steps to improve the situation, reduce harassment or negotiate a solution.

I received information about a CritRat leader. They:

  • Privately trash talked me.
  • Tried to turn a CF community member against me.
  • Encouraged doing things to me that the CritRat believed would trigger me.
  • Encouraged knowingly, intentionally doing things that I regard as seriously mistreating me.
  • Encouraged adopting a mindset of blaming things on me and viewing me as malicious.
  • Suggested that if you have any negative emotions related to Elliot, you should trust them and act on them.
  • Pushed the idea that if Elliot could maybe be in the wrong, you should assume he is, reject all alternatives, and stop thinking about it. They said basically that it’s bad to even consider Elliot’s side of the story because he’s a bad faith actor. (They apparently don’t understand fallibilism or rationality.)

The overall message was that praise, acceptance, friendship and rewards are available to people who join the harassment campaign.

And the CritRat leader said this to someone who they were suspicious of! They must say much worse to people who they trust not to tell me anything. It seems that trying to cause harassment is such a habit that they can’t fully turn it off even when trying to be on good behavior.

The CritRats do this stuff routinely. They want to continue and escalate their harassment campaign, and they are putting ongoing effort into that goal. I usually don’t find much out, besides the downstream consequences (the harassment itself), because they work in the shadows and punish people who provide me with any information.

A long time DD/TCS fan paid $20 on a credit card in order to make an account on my paywalled forum in order to harass me there. They’ve been banned from all my stuff for years but are unwilling to leave me alone.

This harassment is linked to the CritRat community. The harasser and her close associate have been tweeting with multiple CritRats and trying to get their attention. (I don’t know how much success they’ve had because the CritRats have a lot of private conversations, plus I just skimmed through a couple things without really investigating.) They both believe that attacking me is a way to get friendliness and social acceptance from CritRats. A CritRat leader publicly tweeted back to the harasser a week before this harassment incident. This harasser is a person the CritRat leader is highly familiar with from past events, and has reason to fear, so their public encouragement of the harasser was knowing and intentional (and stupid).

A CritRat leader brought me up and then his conversation partner, another CritRat, harassed me on Twitter using an anonymous account.

A CritRat contacted me repeatedly without disclosing he was a CritRat and he exploited a misconfigured forum setting in order to post and violate my forum’s terms of service. When I found out he was a CritRat and confronted him, he refused to say that he thinks harassment is bad, even in principle or in general. He claims the harassment issue is too boring to look into. He claimed to be neutral, but if you’re going to hang out with the CritRats and refuse to address the harassment issue, do not contact me. If you’re a CritRat and won’t leave me alone, you are violating my consent and harassing me.

Here’s some text I wrote to try to explain the problem to him:

Please condemn the harassment and the people who refuse to say they are opposed to harassment. Alternatively, push for people to participate in conflict resolution and condemn those who refuse. If you won’t, and you continue to have friendly interactions with them, then you’re encouraging them to think their harassment (plus refusal of all conflict resolution) is OK, in which case you wouldn’t be welcome to contact me.

After I told him personally “do not contact me again”, he said “Ok”, but then a few weeks later sent me a very nasty email to harass me. He purposefully violated the no contact request and my consent. In that email, he communicated that when he said he was neutral earlier he was lying, and he actually hates me and thinks I’m badly wrong about the harassment issues that he supposedly finds too boring to read about. He claims I should have somehow already known that he despises me, even though it’s different than everything he said to me before when he was pretending to be neutral because he wanted free philosophy help from me. He also claimed that I was coercing him by ordering him to stop emailing me, which I guess is his justification for violating my no contact request (he’s fighting my coercion that consists of the no contact request itself). The reason he thinks reading my explanations about the harassment would be boring is because he has a predetermined conclusion that I’m wrong, so the only things he could learn are how badly I’m wrong and in what ways I’m wrong (he communicated that). He also purposefully used something else that he believed would trigger me in order to falsely attack me – he chose that unconventional, atypical attack specifically because he thinks it’s something I care about and could be triggered by. He purposefully broke a no contact request to try to hurt me.

I suspect he was aware of my generic no contact request to all CritRats like him, which is on my blog, before he contacted me several times while hiding being a CritRat. I suspect he was already purposefully violating a no contact request at the time I individually, personally asked him not to contact me (which he agreed to before breaking his word). But it’s hard to know.

They won’t leave me alone and they’ve never been willing to discuss any conflict resolution. I don’t do anything like this to them.


Do you think they’re doing something bad? Tell them, particularly their leader, David Deutsch. Demand that he answer for what he’s doing. Bring it up and ask challenging questions. Expose him. Please help. Besides defaming me, he has too many loyal fans willing to attack people he signals should be harassed. It’s a nightmare. Supporting messages to me are also appreciated.

After Deutsch turned against me, I left him alone and didn’t complain about him (like my posts about his harassment campaign) for over 5 years but he grew more hateful over time not less. I tried ignoring the problem for over 5 years and that didn’t work; he seems to have a lifelong obsession with me; there’s no option for me where I could simply be left alone going forward. (I think he’s scared that I could critique and refute anything he publishes about philosophy, and he uses that as an excuse for not writing much, so year after year, in his mind, he blames me for his lack of productivity. Using me as a scapegoat is my best understanding of why he won’t move on. In other words, he feels like I never leave him alone because whenever he considers publishing philosophy he remembers that I could potentially write a rebuttal. I got this idea from Lulie Tanett, who told me about it based on her personal conversations with Deutsch, and it makes sense to me.)

Similarly, part of why the CritRats won’t just forget about me is that a bunch of them think I’m a great intellectual, so they keep reading my stuff and trying to learn from me (and sometimes plagiarizing me). It’s partly a love/hate relationship they have with me, not just a hate relationship. I wish they’d stop reading my stuff, stop watching my videos, and stop remembering that I exist, but I have no way to get rid of them while sharing ideas with the public. The combination of trying to get value from me, while being so nasty to me, is really screwed up.

If people stand up to Deutsch, he’s likely to back off. He’s only able to harass me so much due to the lack of attention it gets and the lack of pushback. If thousands of people were watching and judging him, I’m pretty sure he’d mostly stop. He cares deeply about his reputation and what people think of him. Please try to raise awareness and to show him that people actually care and disapprove of his actions.

I want to be able to reopen my blog comments and also have philosophy discussions on other websites without them being disrupted; is that too much to ask?

Elliot Temple on May 13, 2022


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