Oh for the love of pete: The last I am going to write about "Himmmm", seriously

[Note: This post has been edited from its original publication. See here for details.]

Apparently someone -- implied to be [someone]? Maybe? the commenter doesn't say -- is sending out cease and desist letters to people who've commented on the "Himmmm" thing online. I have not gotten one, but I would like to make something abundantly clear: Nothing I have posted is anything other than an amateur attempt at forensic document analysis, and a little social psychology. I think the other blogs commenters have shown me are consistent with the writing style of "Himmmm", but as someone who respects the ethics of people who do conduct professional forensic examinations of this stuff, I cannot say that it definitively is the same person. Nor do I personally have any evidence that it belongs to the guy other people are pointing at, although I have dutifully reported that other people are saying it without weighing in one way or another. I am not personally interested in poking around for "proof", even if I thought I could find any.

I have also reported on some of the things "Himmmm" has said in his comments. Internet bulletin boards are considered "public space" for the purposes of overhearing and quoting stuff that has appeared there, and in general I avoided repeating most of the names and exact allegations in them because some of them probably could be considered legally defamatory. I am not interested in accusing people of some genuinely horrible things without any proof other than the say-so of some dude on the internet. Child abuse and sexual assault involve criminal charges, if an investigation reveals a reasonable chance that the assertion is valid; "being an internet gossip" is not a crime, and per se involves no jail time, even if found to be true.

What I have commented on is that I think the posts by "Himmmm" are consistent with someone who has had substance abuse issues, although I have also pointed out that none of this is inconsistent with someone who is just a dedicated writer who works really hard at pretending to be someone who's had substance abuse issues. I have also mentioned that one of the other blogs strikes me as being by a "weird conspiracy theory guy" and sounds a bit "crazeballs", both of which are personal opinion and not actionable under US libel law. I could frankly say the same thing about Rush Limbaugh, although I could develop that opinion just by reading the news these days without having to hit up his web site.

In short, I'm not doing any further digging, and not really interested in "proof" of who "Himmmm" is on the other side of the keyboard. I'd be more than happy to continue discussing the sociology and psychology of people like "Himmmm", why they pop up from time to time, and what makes them so fascinating to others, in addition to spilling all I know about forensic linguistics and describing some other, much better-documented cases in the past.


  1. I find the intelligence & logic in your blog posts very refreshing!
    I understand & respect that you're finished digging on this subject. However, I do think it would be rather interesting for an analyst like yourself to compare the Himmmm comments with this new C&D letter... I guess I'm just fascinated by the psychology behind this whole "thing." :)

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    1. Oh my indeedy. There's nothing preventing someone from sending out their own C&D letters; if you haven't passed the bar exam you're not legally allowed to give other people legal advice, but you're free to try and blunder through the legal minefield on your own all you like. Civil torts are decided on the "preponderance of the evidence" rather than "beyond reasonable doubt" and are often more flexible in their interpretations of the law, but it's been said in criminal courts at least that a layman who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client.

      If you point me to the letter, I can tell you what I think of the author and whether the arguments are sound, but not being a lawyer myself it would just be loudmouth speculation.

  4. Your blog is excellent. I am really glad I found it, even if it was through my strange curiosity over this gossip scandal. I for one would be interested to hear more about people "like Himmmmm". It would be great if this silly, though rather fascinating, story was a springboard to more of your thoughts on a broader topic.


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