I have notified the Purcellville police that I may be the target of SWAT-ing attacks by the internet goons who have advanced posts at various investing discussion boards and blogs in “defense” of Mel Lindauer and John Greaney, the two individuals who have led the 10-year-long Campaign of Terror against the Retire Early and Indexing discussion board communities and the Personal Finance Blogosphere.
Wikipedia defines SWAT-ing (or Swatting) as “an attempt to trick an emergency service (such as a 9-1-1 dispatcher) into dispatching an emergency response team. The name is derived from SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), one type of such team. Such action places law enforcement and citizens at risk and are criminal actions. In addition, it reduces law enforcement coverage and costs taxpayer money.” The Wikipedia entry explains that: “CNN interviewed Erick Erickson to discuss an incident in which he had been the victim of swatting. The caller to 911 claimed: ‘I just shot my wife, so…. I don’t think I could come down there…. She’s dead, now…. I’m looking at her…. I’m going to shoot someone else, soon.’ —911 caller. That incident prompted Sandy Adams to push for a Justice Department investigation.”
I am the person who discovered the errors in the Old School safe-withdrawal-rate studies (the studies do not contain an adjustment for the valuation level that applies on the day the retirement begins). I shared my discovery with my fellow community members at a Motley Fool discussion board on the morning of May 13, 2002. John Greaney, the author of one of the discredited studies, has for the past 10 years led a brutal Campaign of Terror against all board and blog communities that have shown an interest in discussing the errors in the Old School SWR studies. The effort was led at Indexing communities by Mel Lindauer, co-author of The Bogleheads Guide to Investing, who made a positive reference to the Greaney study in his book and who has posted in “defense” of Greaney and the Old School studies at the Bogleheads Forum discussion board.
When Academic Researcher Wade Pfau contacted the authors of the Trinity study (another discredited Old School SWR study) seeking a correction, the LIndauerheads and Greaney Goons threatened to send defamatory e-mails to his employer in an effort to get him fired. I have in recent months been reporting on my 16 months of e-mail correspondence with Wade, in which he made many references to the “hostile environment” he experienced when posting on the internet about his research findings showing that the Old School retirement studies get the numbers wildly wrong and about his fears that the Lindauerheads and Greaney Goons would be successful in their efforts to destroy his career if he did not agree to play ball with them.
Wade has announced that he will no longer be doing research on Valuation-Informed Indexing, the investing strategy that I developed as a result of the loss of confidence I experienced in Buy-and-Hold after seeing many Buy-and-Holders fail to speak up in strong terms in opposition to the Campaign of Terror (Wade’s research shows that Valuation-Informed Indexing has provided far higher returns than Buy-and-Hold at greatly diminished risk for the entire 140 years for which we have stock return data). He also announced that, while he still believes that the Old School studies get the retirement numbers wildly wrong, there is no need for them to be corrected. He has praised Greaney as the hero of the 10 years of discussions and has characterized me as “unethical” for insisting that the discredited retirement studies be corrected before they cause more failed retirements.
I have contacted the Purcellville Police re this matter previously — much of the history of my efforts to resolve the matter by contacting the appropriate authorities is described here. I have seen an escalation in the threats since I began reporting on Wade’s decision to capitulate to the demands of the Goons. On July 6, 2012, I received an e-mail containing the following text: “Coming.tanks 4 address and phone number.will help me find u.” One of the Goons recently started a thread at the site owned by Greaney setting forth this image in the thread-starter:
I have made public notice at earlier times that I expect to bring civil lawsuits for the recovery of damages to my internet writing business against the owners of web sites that permit Lindauer and/or Greaney “defenders” to post defamatory comments about me or about those who have posted in support of correction of the Old School studies or Valuation-Informed Indexing or in opposition to the Campaign of Terror against our board communities or who in some other way lend support to the efforts of Lindauer and Greaney to continue the ten-year cover-up of my discovery of the errors in the studies. I also expect to help the millions of middle-class investors who have suffered financial losses as a result of the 10-year cover-up to recover the financial damages they have suffered. And I of course will cooperate in any way I can at congressional hearings and in criminal proceedings against those who have posted in “defense” of Lindauer and Greaney.
I intend for this blog entry to put all concerned parties on notice that I would expect SWAT-ing actions to be considered in the criminal and civil and congressional proceedings that I expect will follow the next crash in the price of stocks.