On July 15, I emailed Massimo Introvigne, the Editor and Publisher of The Journal of CESNUR, and cced Ian Camacho, the author of an article smearing me that Introvigne published:
Dear Dr. Introvigne:
You just published an article “1950 Shades of Pinks and Greys: Was L. Ron Hubbard Drugged Out When He Developed OT III?” by Ian C. Camacho.1
Mr. Camacho states in his “Acknowledgements:”
Major thanks go to Massimo Introvigne and the peer reviewers at The Journal of CESNUR for making sure I’m remaining within boundaries of the law, writing clearly, and also properly citing my references.
Can you please tell me who were the peer reviewers who peer reviewed Mr. Camacho’s piece.
I am, of course, the subject of his article that the peer reviewers determined was acceptable for publication in an academic journal, as well as within boundaries of the law, written clearly, with references all properly cited.
Also please send me each of the subject peer reviewers’ contact information, as they would want to know if I was them.
On July 16, Introvigne emailed me back and cced Camacho:
Dear Mr. Armstrong
It is a key principle of peer-reviewed journals that peer reviewers remain anonymous, and their names are not disclosed.
I write a dozen peer reviews every year and would not do so if my anonymity was not protected.
He followed with another email:
It is called double-blind peer review, and of course the protection extends also after the article is published
Camacho’s article is easily shown to be deceitful. It is a 55-page, fake-scholarship-wrapped black propaganda piece that serves the Scientologists’ malevolent purposes. His material facts are false or cherry-picked; his bias is virulent; his logic is fallacious; his academic quality and integrity are abysmal; and his writing is unclear, and in instances deranged. His academic credentials, whatever he claims, are necessarily in question, as is the competence of his teachers, professors, mentors, editor and reviewers.
It was helpful, I think, to take a few minutes to look into peerreviewocracy or peerreviewology. I now see it as an esotericism and practice with high-demand, cult-like, secrecy, which I had never looked into before. Camacho’s article might stand as the most egregious failure, in fact perversion, of the “blind peer review system.” The article and its academic publisher advance the case for an open peer review system, and deserve an actual scholarly analysis and article.
It really is not important who the peer reviewers are who supposedly scrutinized Camacho’s article and, he claims, made sure he remained within boundaries of the law, wrote clearly, and properly cited his references. The role of the journal editor in the Camacho travesty, however, is important, even essential here, in understanding how on earth it ever got published. The editor hires the peer reviewers, or, as might be the case here, fake-hires reviewers and fabricates their reviews for transmission to the author.
The real or fake peer reviewers pretty well had to have been lawyers to be able to competently advise Camacho that his article is within boundaries of the law, and advise him on the legal concept of “burden of proof,” which he writes about, and on which, in key part, he bases his article and his black PR. The reviewing lawyers still could be corrupt lawyers and lie about which side of legal boundaries his defamation was on, and commend his burden of proof BS. Nevertheless, at least as lawyers they are assumed to possess the competence to render such advice. I would not call libel within the boundaries of the law, and the article is certainly libelous. It is malicious — knowing and reckless disregard for the truth. Introvigne, of course, is a lawyer. I am not.
I have no clue if the peer reviewers at the supposedly peer-reviewed Journal of CESNUR recommended publication, or even if these hired reviewers exist. It is possible that Introvigne is simply lying – to me and even to Camacho — and no supposed peer reviewers actually reviewed the article. Peer reviewing this article for publication is not much of a notch on any reviewer’s resume. Introvigne, or, e.g., his secretary, or even Camacho, could have written all the “reviews” that Camacho implies were forwarded to him.
Peer reviewers for supposedly academic articles like Camacho’s are supposed to be experts in the field the author is writing about. Any other class of persons performing scholarly peer reviews would be absurd. It is expected that the peer reviewers have similar competencies to the author. Obviously, the field Camacho is writing about, his relevant, claimed, narrowly defined zone of competency, is, as stated, or misstated, in his “abstract:” the veracity of Gerry Armstrong’s eye witness reported report on L. Ron Hubbard’s 1967 letter from Las Palmas to Mary Sue Hubbard telling her he was drinking rum and popping pinks and greys, and what it all means.
The person with the firsthand and best knowledge of what I saw or read or remembered I had read in Hubbard’s 1967 letters, or in anything else from any other years I’d ever read, is I. There is no escaping that fact. Camacho’s relevant competency more generally — and it could be said his academic methodology — is in skimming facts and disregarding the rest; in ignoring or breaking language and logic rules; in apparently shamelessly publishing his own fabricated story, or narrative, or charge, or excuse, or delusion soaked in pseudo-scholarly swill; in adding a few seemingly solid bits; and pretending he’ serving up haute cuisine. In this matter, he employs this competency to fake-prove his false charge that I lied about ever seeing Hubbard’s rum and pinks and greys letter.
Massimo Introvigne exercises this same competency, as shown by his guidance or non-guidance of the “peer reviewers” that resulted in Camacho’s article being what it is; by his evaluation of its excellence for “peer review,” and then its post-review excellence for publication; by his publishing it; by his prior publication of a related, similarly dishonest article by Camacho; and by his own earlier interactions with me and statements about me and others.2
There is an assumption throughout that the peer-reviewed journal editor is sincere or honest or truthful. That is not, however, Introvigne’s situation or condition. This is a situation so outrageous that people with peer-reviewed journals in mind could not easily anticipate: that such a peer-reviewed journal of an organization calling itself “Center for Studies on New Religions” is used for antisocial, anti-truth, anti-God purposes.
Introvigne is not so unintelligent that he did not know that Camacho was falsifying facts and fobbing off Swiss-cheesed logic as scholarship for the ignoble goal of impugning my credibility. He green-lighted Camacho for this multi-year anti-study; performed his peer review puppet show; and published the piece knowing what the truth is but willfully disregarding it. Camacho and Introvigne share the same preternatural bias and the same perverse, cruel and valueless goal. They seek an illusion.
Introvigne’s comment that he and his journal follow the “double-blind peer review” procedure appears calculated to give themselves some credit or cachet that non-double-blind scholarly peer reviews and peer reviewers lack. In double-blind peer reviews, the author’s identity is supposedly hidden from the reviewers. His name is supposed to be stripped from the journal submission the editor okayed for review and the supposedly double-blind reviewers are supposed to be reviewing. It is risible in this matter that any potential competent reviewer in Introviogne’s stable could not in very few minutes identify the author as Ian C. Camacho, the author of another article Introvigne published in 20183, which similarly impugns my credibility as well as the credibility of others connected in some way to me.
If peer reviewers actually reviewed Camacho’s claimed facts, and were permitted to use their computers and their brains, they would also have seen that I had already published two responses critical of his 2018 article’s facts and claims, and had conveyed — and have not unconveyed — a willingness to push back against his CESNUR/Introvigne-published invectives.
I am criticising your claimed scholarship and Introvigne’s promotion of your article as a “scholarly tour de force.” I am criticising your use of logical fallacies and semantic dishonesty.4
In my second published response, I identified numerous false fact statements by Camacho.5
Peer reviewers would also have seen that Introvigne had publicly attacked my credibility personally and precipitated responses from me:
- July 15, 2019, “The Affirmations: What was L. Ron Hubbard thinking?”
- April 5, 2021, “Masterminds, Sidekicks and the Bear, Oh My!”
- April 9, 2021, “Blissing Out on Ignore Tech.”
- April 11, 2021, “Sects Trafficking; religious scholars for sale or for free.”
Most relevantly, if Introvigne’s “blind peer reviewers,” doubly-blind or not, actually reviewed Camacho’s article, they would have seen, as easily I can see, that he is prevaricating, that he is claiming knowledge he cannot possibly possess, and that his logic is illogical.
There are several online sites that spell out the purpose of the peer review system, obviously as the people and institutions that use the system want their purpose spelled out. I’ve chosen here one online description from California State University “Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program:”
The process is designed to prevent dissemination of irrelevant findings, unwarranted claims, unacceptable interpretations, and personal views. It relies on colleagues that review one another’s work and make an informed decision about whether it is legitimate, and adds to the large dialogue or findings in the field.6
Is there anything at this point in human history as irrelevant as whether or not Gerry Armstrong, as L. Ron Hubbard’s “Biography Researcher and Archivist,” saw a 1967 letter from Hubbard — let’s say in Las Palmas — to Mary Sue Hubbard, then running the Guardian’s Office for him at St. Hill in West Sussex, and in that letter he stated he was drinking rum and popping pinks and greys? The consummate scholarly irrelevance of Camacho’s “findings,” and indeed the scholarly irrelevance of the whole article, leaves bare their actual relevance and purpose: unscholarly cult-serving black propaganda.
Camacho’s significant claims in his article are completely unwarranted because they are false. His interpretations of his false or cherry-picked facts and multi-year woefully biased research are worse than unacceptable. They are witless plus libelous. Although the view Camacho presents in black PRing me is essentially the group black PR on me propagated by the Scientology cultists led by David Miscavige, it nevertheless is Camacho’s expressed personal view. It is his personal attack on my personal credibility for who knows what mess of pottage from editor and publisher Massimo Introvigne, who also has put his personal and venomous view into attacking my credibility.
Camacho’s article is not legitimate in the sense implied of: “conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and standards” (Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary). The article’s purpose is illegitimate and the techniques and substandard reasoning and writing to accomplish that purpose are illegitimate. They cannot be proven to be legitimate. With the same illegitimate purpose, Camacho’s reasoning and writing cannot be changed to become legitimate.
Camacho’s article does add to the large dialogue and findings in the field; in fact in a number of fields. The field Camacho says he is adding his dialogue and findings to is, as stated above: The field of the truth of my eye witness statement of reading in one of L. Ron Hubbard’s letters in 1967 from Las Palmas to his wife where he said he was drinking rum and popping pinks and greys. Camacho has spent two years and cobbled together and added fifty-five pages of dialogue to this field. He has added his findings to the field: essentially that I lied and suckered a whole bunch of human parrots into falling for my lies. And I am responding with more pages to bring the truth to field he vilifies me to dominate.
Other, more relevant, impersonal and legitimate fields where Camacho’s dialogue and findings and perhaps my analyses might be actual valuable additions include Scientology’s academic fair game campaign; peer review, blind peer review and double-blind peer review in the post-truth period; Journals and Editors; scholarship for non-scholars; the Religious Freedom scam; Harvard Law Review, Harvard Lampoon, etc.
The double-blind peer reviewers, if they exist, failed. Editor and Publisher Introvigne failed. They encouraged irrelevant findings, unwarranted claims, unacceptable interpretations, and personal views. Their decision on legitimacy was informed, but they disregarded the apposite information they could not but have possessed.
Camacho failed miserably. He succeeded in crafting a seemingly scholarly black propaganda piece, and succeeded in getting it published. Because his article cannot stand up to scrutiny, however, his success is pyrrhic. His article is a blot on scholarship, on peer reviewers, on peer reviewism, on the CESNUR Journal, and on its editor and publisher.
The search for peer reviewers being over for now, my next action to deal with the Camacho matter is to send him a set of requests for evidence where he omitted it, where his statements were unclear, or where his claimed facts are unproven. I divided my requests into three parts, the first of which concerns only his abstract: “A Rum Time for Ron in Old Town Las Palmas (Part 1).”
- This is an instructive article: “Roles and Responsibilities of Journal Editors in Peer-Review Processes.”
- “Degrees of Truth: Engineering L. Ron Hubbard” https://cesnur.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/tjoc_2_4_3_camacho.pdf
- Batting for CESNUR: Rookie Ian Camacho takes his swings for the team
- Degrees of Untruth: Reverse engineering L. Ron Hubbard