if you’re not guilty, why offer to plead guilty?

Raphael Golb

Raphael Golb is accused of multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of forgery, identity theft, impersonation, and aggravated harassment.

question: if you’re not guilty, why offer to plead guilty? why did raphael golb’s attorney offer a plea deal where raphael golb would plead guilty to lesser misdemeanor charges? according to the new york district attorney’s affirmation in response to the defense’s omnibus motion,  p. 2, fn 2, raphael golb’s attorney offered to have raphael golb plead guilty to all counts if the more serious felony counts were reduced to misdemeanors. apparently, the new york district attorney’s office declined.

2 Defendant’s gratuitous comment that “the People dragged their heels for more than 3 months before they indicted this matter” makes for entertaining reading, yet is inaccurate and invites a response. See Defendant’s Affirmation p. 2, par 5. First, the Criminal Procedure Law provides for speedy trial time periods, the People are well within these limits, and defendant cites no legal authority regarding his complaint of “foot dragging”. Thus defendant’s comment is without any legal basis. Second, the comment is without any factual basis. Defense counsel’s own requests to resolve this case with a misdemeanor guilty plea were one factor that helped delay the indictment. Given that defendant requested a misdemeanor plea offer, he should have been pleased that the People didn’t seek an indictment immediately. Finally, defendant is aware of the complexity of this case, voluminous search warrant material recovered on the date of arrest, and some of the results of the digital evidence examination. Thus, this matter was presented to the Grand Jury after careful consideration, planning, and preparation.

this raises the question: why did raphael golb(‘s lawyer) offer to plead guilty to lesser charges?  if you are guilty of misdemeanor counts in the case, you are still guilty! if you committed a crime, you committed a crime, whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony.

again, as the evidence continues to comes out, the truth of the golbs’ entire campaign of deception and defamation is being laid bare.

text of raphael golb’s police interview immediately following his arrest

Raphael Golb

Raphael Golb, accused of multiple counts of forgery, identity theft, aggravated harassment, and impersonation

the following is the transcript of raphael haim golb’s interview with new york police immediately following his march 5, 2009 arrest.

the following information is a portion of publicly available documents associated with the case of:

‘the people of the state of new york vs. raphael golb’ (indictment no. 2721/2009, docket no. 2009ny018004).

  • doc: people’s voluntary disclosure form
  • date: march 5, 2009
  • time: 10:46 am to 12:36 pm
  • location: n.y. co. district attorney’s office, ecab
  • substance: see exhibit b: summary of defendant’s video statement

EXHIBIT B

SUMMARY OF DEFENDANT’S VIDEO STATEMENT

A FEW MONTHS AGO, I HEARD AT A DINNER PARTY, THAT A PROFESSOR AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, LAWRENCE SCHIFFMAN, SAID THAT I WOULD HAVE LEGAL PROBLEMS BECAUSE I AM USING FALSE NAMES. I THINK HE FILED A FALSE COMPLAINT AGAINST ME.

THERE’S A CHAPTER IN MY FATHER’S BOOK, WHO WROTE THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS, ABOUT LAWRENCE SCHIFFMAN. IT DESTROYS SCHIFFMAN’S THEORY. IT SHOWS THAT SCHIFFMAN PLAGIARIZED MY FATHER AND THAT SCHIFFMAN MISREPRESENTED HIS THEORIES. AN ARTICLE CAME OUT ON THE INTERNET – I DIDN’T WRITE THAT ARTICLE.

SOMEBODY PUBLISHED SOMETHING ON THE INTERNET. APPARENTLY DR. SCHIFFMAN BELIEVES IT’S ME AND HE’S FILED A COMPLAINT AGAINST ME. THE REASON HE’S FILING A COMPLAINT AGAINST ME IS TO GET BACK AT MY FATHER. IT’S OUT OF MALICIOUSNESS TOWARDS MY FATHER. HE CAN’T GET BACK AT MY FATHER FOR HIS BOOK SO HE’S GETTING AT HIS SON.

I WON’T ANSWER WHETHER I HAVE POSTED ANY ARTICLES ON THE INTERNET ABOUT THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS. I WON’T ANSWER BECAUSE I THINK SCHIFFMAN IS OUT TO GET MY FATHER. HE MIGHT SUE ME.

THERE WAS AN ARTICLE CALLED SOMETHING, SOMETHING WITH PLAGIARISM IN IT, SCHIFFMAN, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, THAT’S ALL I REMEMBER. BUT IF YOU READ THAT ARTICLE, YOU’LL SEE THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST SCHIFFMAN. YOU’VE SEEN THAT THEY WERE RAISED BY AN ISRAELI JOURNALIST. THIS WAS IN MY FATHER’S BOOK. EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT THIS.

MY SITUATION IS THAT I FEAR THAT DR. SCHIFFMAN COMPLAINED AGAINST ME. I FIND HIM TO BE A VERY FRIGHTENING PERSON FOR VARIOUS REASONS. HE DESTROYED THE CAREER OF MY FATHER’S BEST STUDENT, MICHAEL WISE. HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO AND THERE WAS THIS CONFERENCE ON THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS IN NEW YORK. I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT YEAR, 1992 OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. I WENT TO THE CONFERENCE. MY FATHER ORGANIZED THIS CONFERENCE WITH ANOTHER PROFESSOR AND IT WAS THE FIRST CONFERENCE EVER HELD ABOUT THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS IN WHICH THEY INVITED PEOPLE WITH A DIFFERENT OPINION. THE CONFERENCES ABOUT THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS ARE USUALLY MONOPOLIZED BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE SAME VIEW AS SCHIFFMAN. SO MY FATHER ORGANIZED A CONFERENCE AT WHICH PEOPLE WHO HAD DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW WOULD DEBATE THE EVIDENCE FOR THE FIRST TIME. AROUND THAT TIME STUDENT OF MY FATHER HAD PUBLISHED A BOOK WITH ANOTHER PROFESSOR IN CALIFORNIA.

THEY MOUNTED THIS CAMPAIGN. SCHIFFMAN WROTE A PRESS RELEASE. HE CONTACTED JOURNALISTS AND PUT A STATEMENT OUT ABOUT THIS BOOK OF MY FATHER’S STUDENT. SMEARING HIM, ATTACKING THE BOOK SAYING THAT IT WAS UNETHICAL AND ALL KINDS OF STUFF, WHICH IT WASN’T. THEY ACCUSED HIM OF BIBLIOGRAPHIC INACCURACIES – NOT CITING SOURCES. HE WAS ON TRACK TO GET TENURE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO AND HE DIDN’T GET IT.

AM I ANGRY AT DR. SCHIFFMAN? I’M MY FATHER’S SON. I’M ESPECIALLY ANGRY WITH DR. SCHIFFMAN IF HE FILED THIS COMPLAINT AGAINST ME. I FIND THE GUY A BIT NAUSEATING TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH. I KNOW THAT HE WOULD STOP AT NOTHING TO GET AT MY FATHER.

FOR YEARS I’VE DONE GOOGLE SEARCHES FOR MY FATHER’S NAME. IT’S FILLED WITH ALL KINDS OF SMEARS AGAINST MY FATHER FOR YEARS.

I THINK I MIGHT ONCE HAVE POSTED A REMARK ON THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS USING MY OWN NAME, A LITTLE REMARK ABOUT A MUSEUM EXHIBIT OR SOMETHING. MAYBE THREE YEARS AGO.

THERE’S BEEN A WHOLE SERIES OF MUSEUM EXHIBITS ABOUT THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS WHERE THEY’VE BEEN EXCLUDING THE VIEWPOINT OF SOME. DR. SCHIFFMAN KEEPS APPEARING AT THESE MUSEUM EXHIBITS, SPEAKING AT THEM, GIVING LECTURES AT THEM. MY FATHER HAS ATTACKED THEM IN A SERIES OF ARTICLES ON THE ORIENTAL WEBSITE.

THESE PEOPLE ARE OBVIOUSLY DEEPLY ENRAGED AT MY FATHER AND THEY ARE VERY WORRIED. THEIR TACTIC WITH RESPECT TO MY FATHER INITIALLY WAS SIMPLY TO IGNORE HIM. THEN THEIR TACTIC WAS THAT HE WAS AN ISOLATED PERSON. HE WAS ONLY ONE PERSON, WHO WAS ENTITLED TO HAVE HIS POINT OF VIEW.

ALL OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE EXCLUDED MY FATHER FROM THESE MUSEUM EXHIBITS. AND THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE AFRAID OF. THEY’RE AFRAID THAT THEY ARE GOING TO BE OBLIGED TO STOP DOING THAT. TO START PRESENTING THE TRUTH TO THE PUBLIC THAT THERE WERE TWO DIFFERENT THEORIES. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED AT THE JEWISH MUSEUM. THE JEWISH MUSEUM SAW WHAT WAS GOING ON AND THEY HAD AN EXHIBIT. I DIDN’T GO TO IT. BUT MY FATHER WROTE A REVIEW OF IT BECAUSE THEY SUPPLIED HIM WITH ALL THE MATERIAL. I BELIEVE DR. SCHIFFMAN SPOKE AT THAT, BUT I WASN’T THERE.

I’D RATHER NOT GET INTO WHETHER I HAVE POSTED BLOGS ABOUT THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS USING NAMES OTHER THAN MY OWN, FOR FEAR OF LAWSUITS.

I NEVER PRETENDED TO BE LAWRENCE SCHIFFMAN, I NEVER OPENED AN EMAIL ACCOUNT IN HIS NAME, I NEVER SENT EMAILS PRETENDING TO BE HIM. I NEVER AUTHORED A BLOG ACCUSING DR. SCHIFFMAN OF PLAGIARISM. I READ IT, BUT DIDN’T WRITE IT.

I DIDN’T OPEN AN EMAIL ACCOUNT IN THE NAME OF STEPHEN GORANSON. I THINK I KNOW WHO HE IS – SOMEBODY SMEARING MY FATHER. I THINK HE IS A VERY SAD CASE. I DON’T THINK HE HAS AN ACADEMIC POSITION. I THINK THAT HE’S ONE OF THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST MY FATHER FOR MANY YEARS GOING BACK TO THE 1990’S.

I’D RATHER NOT GET INTO WHETHER I HAVE EVER OPENED UP EMAIL ACCOUNTS IN NAMES OTHER THAN MY OWN. I’D RATHER NOT GET INTO MY NICKNAMES. I’D RATHER NOT GET INTO WHETHER I BLOGGED UNDER THE NAME CHARLES GADDA. WHOEVER WROTE BLOGS UNDER THE NAME CHARLES GADDA HAS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO WRITE BLOGS UNDER THE NAME CHARLES GADDA.

FAMILY MEMBERS PROBABLY DON’T WANT PEOPLE MAKING FUN OF THEIR PARENTS, POSTING THINGS ON THE INTERNET.

ROBERT CARGILL COMPLAINED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO TO GET MY FATHER’S ARTICLE ABOUT HIS FILM REMOVED FROM THE WEB SITE. HE WAS ATTACKED. I’D RATHER NOT GET INTO WHETHER I DID ANY BLOGS ABOUT ROBERT CARGILL.

I AM SORRY FOR DR. SCHIFFMAN IF SOMEONE OPENED AN EMAIL ACCOUNT USING HIS NAME. BUT THAT WASN’T ME. OBVIOUSLY I DON’T LIKE PEOPLE WHO SMEAR MY FATHER, WHO PLAGIARIZE MY FATHER, WHO MISREPRESENT HIS VIEWS. IT’S VERY FRUSTRATING. I MEAN HE DID IT IN HIS BOOK AND EVERYTHING. IT WAS FRUSTRATING. I WOULDN’T OPEN UP AN EMAIL ACCOUNT IN HIS NAME.

IF I HAD AN INTEREST IN THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS SCANDAL, IT WOULD BE MUSEUM EXHIBITS.

I WENT TO HARVARD UNIVERSITY AND NYU LAW SCHOOL AND OBERLIN COLLEGE. I’VE BEEN WRITING A BOOK ON THE FRENCH OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS. I DO REAL ESTATE LAW. I LIVE AT 206 THOMPSON ST. I AM A LAWYER AND AUTHOR.

I HAVE INTERNET AT HOME. MAYBE ON OCCASION I HAVE ACCESSED THE INTERNET AT NYU. WHEN I AM AT THE BOBST LIBRARY. I AM WRITING A BOOK AT BOBST LIBRARY. I HARDLY EVER CHECK MY EMAILS AT NYU. I LIVE RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER FROM THE PLACE. WHEN I GO THERE, IT’S TO WORK ON MY BOOK. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY TIMES I’VE USED THE NYU COMPUTERS. I USE THEM BECAUSE I DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE WRITING MY BOOK AT HOME. I STORE MY BOOK ON A MEMORY STICK.

I DON’T WANT TO GET INTO HOW MUCH I KNOW ABOUT THE INTERNET. I DON’T KNOW WHAT AN INTERNET PROTOCOL ADDRESS IS.

MY BROTHER IS JOEL GOLB. HE HAS A SNAFU EMAIL ACCOUNT. MY EMAIL ACCOUNT IS RAPHAEL.G AT GMAIL.COM MY FATHER’S EMAIL ADDRESS IS N-GOLB@UCHICAGO.EDU. MY FATHER DOESN’T BLOG. I DON’T WANT TO GET INTO WHETHER I DID IT FOR MY FATHER. I DON’T WANT TO BE SUED BY LAWRENCE SCHIFFMAN. I AM NOT INVOLVED IN OPENING UP EMAIL ADDRESSES IN SCHIFFMAN’S NAME AND I AM NOT INVOLVED IN BLOGGING ABOUT SCHIFFMAN. TO MY KNOWLEDGE, JOEL GOLB IS NOT INVOLVED IN BLOGGING ABOUT SCHIFFMAN, BUT ASK HIM. I HAVE COMMUNICATED WITH JOEL GOLB AND MY FATHER ABOUT THESE BLOGS. I WON’T GET INTO THE POSTING OF THE BLOGS. IT WAS NOT MY BROTHER JOEL WHO OPENED THE LARRY.SCHLFFMAN EMAIL ACCOUNT AS FAR AS I KNOW. I CAN’T SEE MY FATHER DOING IT. THAT WOULD BE PREPOSTEROUS. I’M SURE DR. SCHIFFMAN HAS LOTS OF ENEMIES

I’M NOT GOING TO ANSWER WHETHER THE CHARLES GADDA ALIAS IS ME. IF IN THEORY I WERE CHARLES GADDA, THAT FACT WOULD BE USED TO SMEAR MY FATHER. THEY WOULD SAY THAT MY FATHER IS DOING IT OR ASKING ME TO DO IT. MY FATHER CERTAINLY NEVER ASKED ME TO DO ANYTHING OF THE KIND. NOR WOULD HE ENCOURAGE ME OR APPROVE OF ME DOING ANYTHING LIKE THAT. HE MIGHT NOT APPROVE OF SOME OF THE THINGS THAT CHARLES GADDA HAS SAID. CHARLES GADDA HAS EMPHASIZED RELIGIOUS ASPECTS OF THE DEAD SEA SCROLL SCANDAL. MY FATHER’S PERSPECTIVE ON THE MOTIVATIONS BEHIND THIS WHOLE THING IS THAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN PROTECTING A THEORY. HE’S A SCIENTIST. HIS INTEREST IS IN A SCIENTIFIC PROBLEM.

FRANK CROSS IS A FAMOUS DEAD SEA SCROLLS SCHOLAR. I DON’T BELIEVE I OPENED AN EMAIL ACCOUNT IN HIS NAME. PETER KAUFMAN – IS THAT THE NAME OF THE PERSON WHO PUBLISHED THE ARTICLE ABOUT SCHIFFMAN ON THE NOW PUBLIC BLOGSITE? I’M NOT GOING TO GET INTO WHETHER I OPENED AN EMAIL ACCOUNT IN HIS NAME.

JEFFREY GIBSON? THERE’S A WEBSITE CALLED ALIASES OF JEFFREY GIBSON. I BELIEVE JEFFREY GIBSON IS IN CHICAGO AND HE IS INVOLVED IN SOME BIBLICAL STUFF. I DIDN’T OPEN AN EMAIL ACCOUNT IN HIS NAME

IF I WERE INTERESTED IN THIS, IT’S WITH RESPECT TO MUSEUM EXHIBITS AND NOT DR. SCHIFFMAN. I SUSPECT THERE’S SOMEONE WHO HATES HIM AND DECIDED TO GIVE IT TO HIM AND USED THE PLAGIARISM TO DO IT. THERE COULD BE PEOPLE ALL OVER NEW YORK WHO DISLIKE HIM.

I DON’T KNOW A JONATHAN SEIDEL. I DIDN’T OPEN AN EMAIL ACCOUNT IN HIS NAME, TO MY MEMORY.

UNDER THE SUPPOSITION THAT I PUBLISHED ARTICLES ABOUT CARGILL’S FILM, THAT WAS INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING ABOUT A SERIOUS MATTER INVOLVING MISCONDUCT IN THE MUSEUM BY A PROFESSOR AT UCLA.

==end of transcript==

on false accusations of anti-semitism in the academy

My daughter, Talitha, at the Temple Etz Chaim kindergarten Hanukkah celebration.

My daughter, Talitha, at the Temple Etz Chaim kindergarten Hanukkah celebration.

bible and interpretation has published my most recent essay on the inappropriate use of accusations of anti-semitism as a weapon against scholars in the field of jewish studies. specifically, the essay is, in part, a response to recent motions to dismiss the charges and suppress evidence collected in the criminal case against raphael golb, son of university of chicago oriental institute historian norman golb, that is currently working its way through the ny court system, as well as to a feb 26, 2009 essay by golb’s alias ‘charles gadda’ entitled ‘antisemitism and the dead sea scrolls’ that was posted on a nowpublic.com website that has since been removed by nowpublic.

i encourage you to read the article and take seriously false charges of anti-semitism, or any form of discrimination. while racism and discrimination are a very real problems in the world, the terms ‘racist’ and anti-semite’ are too often tossed about inappropriately and without due accountability in an effort to paint one’s political or academic opponent in a negative light. i conclude that we should use discretion and caution when labeling others as racist or anti-semitic, and that we should treat those that flagrantly misuse and abuse the term in a similar manner to which we treat those that engage in actual racist or discriminatory behavior.

words mean things, and scholars should exercise the same non-sensationalist, guarded restraint in labeling others that we use in discussing our academic subject matter.

oh… so you were just kidding this whole time

Raphael Golb

Raphael Golb, accused of multiple counts of forgery, identity theft, aggravated harassment, and impersonation

direct from the ‘you have got to be kidding me’ wing of the lawyering hall of shame comes this, as reported by the chronicle of higher education on november 7, 2009:

A novel legal argument is being used to defend a New York man accused of stealing identities and using them to send e-mail messages and make online comments designed to discredit his father’s academic rivals over their interpretations of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Associated Press reports. The defense lawyer for the accused man, Raphael Golb, says that most of the charges against his client should be dismissed because to uphold them would imperil pranks, parodies, blog comments made under assumed names, and other freewheeling elements of the Internet. Mr. Golb has pleaded not guilty to charges of identity theft and criminal impersonation, in a case originally detailed in The Chronicle. His lawyer, Ronald Kuby, said in court filings this week that whoever sent the messages under other people’s names — and it wasn’t his client — was putting on an “intellectual prank” protected by the First Amendment.

where does one begin? we knew golb and his defense would attempt to turn this into a soapbox for a referendum on his father’s views. we knew that he would attempt to prove his ridiculous accusations were ‘true’ by trying to drag up a bunch of conspiracy nonsense in a trial. we even knew that he would attempt to argue that identity theft and impersonation were protected under the first amendment right to free speech. we expected all this.

what we didn’t expect was for golb’s defense to use a ‘it was a joke’ defense. how would that even sound? how does one claim that a two-year campaign of harassment and defamation ultimately resulting in impersonation, forgery, and identity theft was just a ‘prank’? well, perhaps the defense would sound something like this:

[and yes, the following is a parody of what a ‘just kidding’ or ‘intellectual prank’ defense might sound like. the actual defense may differ, and the following parody in no way purports to be the actual words of raphael golb or his attorney]

you thought i was serious?? ha ha ha ha! oh man, aaahhhh, sorry. i was just kidding. it was just a prank. i was just foolin’.

sorry about impersonating you, dr. schiffman. i was just kidding. man, you should have seen the expression on your face. lol. boy, did you get punk’d. when i wrote to your grad students and wrote in the first person and pretended to be you from an email address i created that bore your name, dude, i was totally joking. when i confessed to a crime you didn’t commit on your behalf, i wasn’t bein’ serious. everyone knew i was totally kidding. dude, all those nyu administrators and your colleagues that i spammed accusing you of plagiarizing my daddy, i was so totally just kidding. i wasn’t serious. you had to know it was just an intellectual joke. i just know we’re all gonna just look back at this whole thing and just laugh.

and sorry about that cargill. when i wrote to your faculty and questioned whether you should receive your phd, i was just joshin’. my bad. you had to know that my criticisms weren’t serious. i was just playin’. all those times i accused you of plagiarism and all those times i made fun of you for being a christian, and all those times i wrote to museums like toronto and tried to keep your research from ending up in museum exhibitions, dude, i was just kidding. i wasn’t trying to cause you actual fiscal damage. not at all! it was more like an episode of punk’d. me and ashton kutcher, we’re like this. and when my dad asked for a copy of your unpublished movie script, and you actually agreed to send it to him out of a sense of professionalism, even though he was a known critic?? boy, i could have warned you on that one, dude! you were so naïve! and when you put those warnings on the top of the script and in the email accompanying the script stating that absolutely no portion of your unpublished script could be reproduced, and dad still reproduced several passages online in a critique, dude, you should have totally seen that comin’. you can’t take dad’s criticisms seriously – for crying out loud, he can only ‘publish’ (and i use the term loosely) by self-publishing some rant he wrote and then slappin’ it up on the oriental institute website. no one ever publishes his nonsense anymore. besides, dad was only kidding! and when the oi lawyers removed his critique of your movie from the oi website, he knew you and your legal advisors were just kidding too. see, we were both just kidding around. but seriously cargill, it was all just a joke. i was just playin’ a prank. why are you harshin’ my mellow??

and sorry san diego natural history museum and north carolina museum of natural sciences and royal ontario museum. you thought i was really trying to drive down your ticket sales by criticizing your exhibitions? you thought i was trying to harm your bottom line when i wrote to journalists and encouraged them to investigate the ‘controversy’ that dad and i stirred up? you thought my critiques of your exhibitions were serious?? no, i was just playing a little prank. i wasn’t trying to drive away visitors and cost you actual dollars. i was jus’ keeeding.

and sorry bart ehrman about publishing private correspondence online. that was totally a joke. in fact, daddy and i got a real kick out of that one here in chicago over the holiday. you actually thought i was a real person?? ha ha ha.

and risa, wow, i don’t know what to say. you thought i was serious? you thought i was trying to harm your reputation and career? those letters i wrote to newspapers and journalists about you were simply parody. everyone knows i like to joke and kid. c’mon, you thought i was serious? i’m just like stephen colbert – there was totally an expectation of parody in my tone. everyone knows i’m a jokester. i wasn’t really trying to hurt you, i just wanted to make you laugh. it was all one big prank.

and david noel freedman, i know you’re dead and all, but when i criticized you and called you a fraud only days after your death, man, i’ll bet you were rolling over in your grave. i was sooo just kidding.

and bill schniedewind, when i was going onto your wikipedia page and accusing you of all sorts of stuff, dude, i was totally just playin’. i knew you’d see it was a joke, and that those ten different aliases were all me just trying to see how much crap i could get up on your page. and dude, you didn’t even fight back. you just took it. it was kind of a bummer, but it’s cool now bro, you know i was just pullin’ your chain.

[thus ends the parody.]

this is perhaps the most novel defense in recent history: he will literally stand up before a real judge in a real court and argue  ‘i was just kidding.’ i wonder if that same defense will work with some of the terrorists that golb’s attorney, ron kuby, defends:

[begin parody]

yes, i know i blew up that building, but me and the boys were just blowin’ off steam. we were just joking. it wasn’t meant to be serious…

[end parody]

if one’s defense is ‘it was just a prank,’ and said prank goes too far and breaks the law, then said prankster is responsible. the same is true for accidents that take place in vehicles when the driver is just ‘foolin’ around.’

again, i shake my head…

new aliases popping up surrounding the criminal investigation of raphael golb

Anonymous Aliasseveral have noticed new aliases popping up around the internet commenting on articles and news items reporting on the criminal investigation of raphael golb, son of university of chicago oriental institute historian norman golb, on felony and misdemeanor counts of identity theft, forgery, criminal impersonation, and aggravated harassment. golb is accused of using multiple aliases to impersonate and harass perceived rivals of his father. the new aliases point readers to a blog containing a publicly available copy of the motion to dismiss the charges of forgery, identity theft, and criminal impersonation against raphael golb on the basis of ‘free speech’ filed by mr. golb’s attorney, ronald kuby.

these new aliases may look similar to the posts made by raphael golb’s chief alias ‘charles gadda‘ and others. however, we should not be quick to accuse ‘dead sea troll‘ and ‘rich cohen’ of being new sock puppets of raphael golb. for all that we know, this may be a tactic used by mr. golb’s defense. the defense could, theoretically, get someone to create new accounts on various blogs, message boards, and news websites and post ambiguous ‘copycat’ messages not unlike those of our old friend ‘charles gadda,’ and then wait for someone to accuse ‘dead sea troll’ of being raphael golb, when in fact, he or she is not. then, in court, the defense could claim, ‘see how easy it is to falsely accuse someone of being raphael golb?’

i’m willing to give this next round of new aliases like ‘dead sea troll’ the benefit of the doubt. it very well may be that some friendly newcomer has taken an interest in the never-ending saga that is the criminal case against raphael golb. there is absolutely no reason to believe these new comments are the work of raphael golb, especially when some of the ip addresses used to create and login to these new aliases are coming from some very interesting locations in europe.

one should not rush to conclusions, but rather, should rely on verifiable, hard evidence to demonstrate that ‘charles gadda’ is, in fact, raphael golb. hard evidence can be found at who is charles gadda.com. or, if you are still not convinced by ip addresses, word-for-word emails sent by different aliases from different email acounts, and email traces, you can simply take raphael golb’s father, dr. norman golb’s word for it.

so while the motion to dismiss the charges against golb still does not concede that raphael golb was charles gadda, raphael golb’s father, norman golb, has reportedly done so on his behalf. i’m sure the defense appreciated the elder dr. golb’s input.

in conclusion, we should take these new aliases with a grain of salt. i don’t think they are the work of raphael golb and neither should you. perhaps it’s just one more ardent, real life supporter of the theories of norman golb and the innocence of his son, raphael.

update: golb’s motion to dismiss the charges against him available online

yet another anonymous wordpress blog has suddenly appeared linking to a motion to dismiss the charges against raphael golb in the felony identity theft, aggravated harassment, criminal impersonation, and forgery case involving the son of university of chicago historian norman golb and the dead sea scrolls.

i’ll leave a formal response to this motion to the ny da’s office. they do this kind of thing. i’ll just say that calling golb’s actions ‘parody’ is literally laughable. not snl ha ha funny, but simply laughable. also, to argue that impersonation, forgery, and identity theft aren’t ‘criminal’ unless you made money off the crime (or cost the victim cash) is equally absurd. there are numerous errors in the motion to dismiss, but i’ll let the da’s office respond to them.

as for golb’s defense attorney, ronald kuby, i must offer some genuine props. as many of you know, one of my all time favorite movies is the big lebowski. there’s way too much ‘cursing’ for my liking, but the movie is a classic. and anyone who can land a mention in a classic movie where the central premise is, ‘the dude abides,’ is cool. if you’ve never seen the big lebowski, it’s a movie about a complete slacker who slides through life and finds himself caught up in a scandal. and when he wants a lawyer, he utters a simple name.

listen to hear the name he calls.

you can read the pdf. i get a mention in there. still not sure about all the obsession with me being a christian. what’s the harm in that? ;-) the dead sea scrolls have nothing to do with christians or christianity. and while some jewish sectarians with ties to the temple wrote the dead sea scrolls, i never refer to them as essenes in my publications. yet, the entire introduction of the motion of dismiss looks like rehash of ‘charles gadda’s’ old blogs. it’s almost as if raphael golb helped write it, but then again, what do i know about multiple people authoring a single document? my skill is in demonstrating common authorship of multiple documents. ;-)

8 months later: bar finally ‘reports’ on the golb scandal

Raphael Golb

Raphael Golb, son of Norman Golb

Norman Golb

University of Chicago historian Norman Golb

Hershel Shanks, Editor of Biblical Archaeology Review

Biblical Archaeology Review Editor Hershel Shanks


biblical archaeology review has finally ‘reported‘ the march 5, 2009 arrest of raphael golb. while they did mention it in a byline news blurb a few months ago, the magazine that has arguably made its name reporting the original dead sea scrolls ‘scandal’ and other scandals from the world of biblical archaeology (remember the ‘fleas‘ issue 16/2 of mar/apr 1990) has finally acknowledged the existence of the dead sea scrolls scandal of this decade: the identity theft and smear campaign of raphael golb on behalf of his father, university of chicago history professor norman golb and his largely unaccepted views on the origin of the dead sea scrolls and the nature of qumran. (be sure to read the interesting comments following the chicago maroon article by sara jerome.)

Biblical Archaeology Review Cover of March/April 1990 issue (Vol. 16, No.2)

according to the very short, unsigned report in the strata section, bar states:

According to an indictment handed down last summer by a Manhattan grand jury, son Raphael adopted some unorthodox methods to support his father’s views. The indictment charges Raphael Golb with assuming the identity of prominent Dead Sea Scroll scholar Lawrence Schiffman of New York University; the indictment charges Raphael Golb with creating more than 50 e-mail accounts and dozens of internet blogs, in which Raphael Golb (posing as Schiffman) espoused the views of Norman Golb and (again, as Schiffman) confessed to plagiarizing from Norman Golb.

Raphael Golb also allegedly opened other e-mail accounts in the names of Dead Sea Scroll scholars Jonathan Seidel and Stephen Goranson.

that’s it. other than a brief introduction that can be read for free on the website, the two remaining paragraphs are little more than information gleaned from the manhattan da’s press release from march 2009.

for a magazine (bar) and an editor (shanks) that appear to crave controversy and love the dead sea scrolls, this story seems like a no-brainer. in fact, it has been somewhat of a mystery why bar has not already run a feature length exposé or two on this story. it hasn’t been on the cover. it has received no in depth investigation. it hasn’t even attracted from bar a simple investigative inquiry that bar readers have come to expect on issues relating to biblical archaeology. the intriguing story of a man using the cloak of the anonymous internet to weave together a network of aliases to write blogs, send emails, leave comments, send letters, dupe media outlets, harass in a most aggravated manner, and in the end, steal the identity of and impersonate another scholar, all in an effort to promote norman golb and criticize his perceived opponents has been largely ignored, save for this late acknowledgment and the initial byline news item.

some have speculated why shanks may have held his tongue on this scandal. when hershel shanks published a facsimile of the dead sea scrolls manuscript mmt, prompting elisha qimron later to sue shanks and win in court, norman golb testified in shanks’ defense. some speculate that shanks has held his tongue as a form of repayment – a kind of ‘thank you’ to norman golb for earlier testifying on his behalf. of course, this is merely speculation, but it does give one pause because it appears to be completely out of character (and certainly not at all profitable) for shanks not to report this story (especially when there is so much evidence are so many details of the campaign catalogued on the internet and readily available to the public).

whatever the reason, biblical archaeology review has finally reported on the golb scandal. but this ‘report’ obviously lacks the expected vigor, insight, and detailed attention that mr. shanks regularly shows to other disputes, like the james ossuary, the talpiot tomb, the hazon gabriel, his ongoing rift with with shuka dorfman and the iaa, and other past dss-related issues. i know of one person who was recommended to mr. shanks by a respected qumran archaeologist as one who could knowledgeably write about this for bar, but as of the writing of this post, bar still has not contacted him. i’m beginning to wonder if this particular dead sea scrolls scandal is simply being given a ‘minimalist’ amount of attention for reasons other than a lack of a public interest. it seems the last time someone was arrested for a biblical archaeology related crime, bar paid a little more attention. in fact, they even held their own trial. (see also here and here and here and here.)

sometimes, the deafening silence says more than words ever can.

update in the new york vs. raphael golb identity theft case

Raphael (left) and Norman Golb

Raphael (left) and Norman Golb. Raphael Golb is accused of multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of identity theft, forgery, criminal impersonation, and aggravated harassment while using aliases to promote the views of his father, Dr. Norman Golb, and smear the names of his father's perceived opponents.

yesterday, new york supreme court judge carol berkman denied all defense motions to dismiss the case against raphael golb, son of university of chicago oriental institute historian norman golb, on the grounds of free speech. golb’s attorneys also attempted to suppress statements made by golb at the time of his arrest and suppress evidence gathered at his apartment (namely, golb’s computer) from being used as evidence during the trial.

raphael golb was arrested in new york on march 5, 2009 on multiple counts stemming from his activity is promoting the views and harassing the rivals of his father, ludwig rosenberger professor of jewish history and civilization at the university of chicago’s oriental institute dr. norman golb. golb stands accused of multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of forgery, criminal impersonation, identity theft, and aggravated harassment in conjunction with his participation in a larger campaign to promote the views of his father regarding the origin of the dead sea scrolls, and to harass, chastise, and in the case of new york university professor lawrence schiffman, steal his identity, impersonate him, and attempt to denigrate his reputation by charging him with plagiarism of his father. using the alias ‘charles gadda‘ and other anonymous personalities, golb created an elaborate network of blogs, news stories, and letter writing campaigns to persuade any who would listen that his father’s minority views on the origin of the dead sea scrolls were correct, and that his father was the victim of a conspiracy to ignore his views.

defense attorneys for golb argued that the forgery, criminal impersonation, identity theft, and aggravated harassment charges against golb should be dismissed on the grounds of golb’s first amendment right to free speech. judge berkman denied these motions to dismiss, allowing the case to continue.

golb is next scheduled to appear in new york supreme court on november 4, 2009.

additionally, according to publicly available records on the ecourts.com website, raphael golb is no longer represented by renowned first amendment lawyer martin garbus, who had been listed as golb’s attorney. according to the ecourts.com website, golb is now represented by private defense attorneys ron kuby and david breitbart (on retainer).

new online legal tool helps you track criminal cases

eCourts

eCourts

as a scholar in the digital humanities, i try my best to keep readers informed about the newest technologies available to the public. i am especially attentive when the technology is readily available online, and even more so excited when it is free. so i was delighted to discover a new service readily available to the public domain offered by the new york state unified court system. their new software, ecourts, provides a free service called webcrims, which allows an internet reader to view new york state criminal proceedings of interest to the online reader. after entering a simple captcha spam guard, this service allows the reader to search for cases in the new york criminal justice system, read a summary of a pending case, including the defendant’s name, a record of the offending incident(s) and arrest, attorney information, next scheduled appearance, and sentencing information. the reader can also view a history of appearances in the court system, which provides details like whether or not a temporary order of protection has been issued in the case. perhaps most impressively, the reader can read a laundry list of charges brought by the people of new york against the accused. you can even subscribe to receive criminal case alerts using the etrack email alert system to make sure you don’t miss any of the proceedings in your favorite case.

all this technology is brought to you free of charge in the public domain by the good people of the state of new york, so give it a try.

%d bloggers like this: