The Fantabulist

I will let readers draw their own conclusions about this rather intriguing bit of research started by commenter KLS about fellow commenter MAJ in the last open thread:

MAJ why are you just copying and pasting other people’s work?

for example, your really long comment above, starting “Dear Simon and Conrad, The value of the dollar vs the euro is directly related to…”

this is word-for-word copied from elsewhere.

I took a random line and googled it. the line was:
“the US effectively controls the world oil-market as the”

via google I discovered two websites where a long essay has been posted about euros and dollars and oil.
you copied and pasted over 700 words direct from that!

-see Iraq/Iraq_dollar_vs_euro.html

the only thing you changed was to insert intros such as “Simon, Conrad – also remember that…” at the beginning of one or two of the paragraphs.

or take your next long comment, starting:
“Dear Conrad,
The other argument put forward by political analysists”

you directly copied and pasted 500 words that appear on this website:

wouldn’t it have been good manners to acknowledge that these words are not your own? and, rather than filling up a thread, to have provided links to these websites instead?

Posted by KLS at July 11, 2005 11:54 AM .

Oh dear, this is an intriguing development indeed. I was so impressed, I started doing my own investigation.

Here’s what our feckless Marxist said yesterday (scroll to comment placed at 2:19):

More than four-fifths of all foreign exchange transactions and half of all the world exports are denominated in dollars and US currency accounts for about two-thirds of all official exchange reserves. The fact that billions of dollars worth of oil is priced in dollars ensures the world domination of the dollar. It allows the US to act as the world’s central bank, printing currency acceptable everywhere. The dollar has become an oil-backed, not gold-backed, currency.

Well said. Even brilliant. Only, here’s what Z Magazine had to say on the subject back in February 2004:

More than four-fifths of all foreign exchange transactions and half of all the world exports are denominated in dollars and U.S. currency accounts for about two-thirds of all official exchange reserves. The fact that billions of dollars worth of oil is priced in dollars ensures the world domination of the dollar. It allows the U.S. to act as the world’s central bank, printing currency acceptable everywhere. The dollar has become an oil-backed, not gold-backed, currency.

Well, well. What are the odds of that being a pure coincidence? And what would the good Dr. Anne Meyers have to say about someone so insecure and eager for attention and approval that he would resort to such nasty tricks, a la Jayson Blair?

A few days earlier, our friend was caught doing the same thing and, as usual, had a sorta-kinda excuse akin to a dog eating one’s homework; that excuse, where he said he had made reference to his source and was rapidly cutting and pasting and blah blah blah – that excuse won’t fly this time because there’s no attribution. Zero. It is literally an act of deception, in which MAJ consciously and consistently led us all to believe he himself was the author. And that is a very serious offense.

Again, I like MAJ. But when you blog, what you write is there for everyone to see, and if you get caught BS’ing, your crediblity is gone for good. This is a matter of lying. Deception. Fraud. And he’s a repeat offender. And not even the good “Dr.” Anne Myers can get him out of this mess. Sorry if this causes you a tad of embarrassment, Mark, but you left yourself wide open. I invite readers to comb the archives and find other instances of MAJ’s creative cut & paste capabilities. There’s a lot more where these few examples came from.

[Note: In reaction to this post, Mark Anthony Jones tried to get this blog banned in China, creating another fantabulistic piece, this time for China Daily, in which he simply makes things up and calls this a “hate site.” Obviously, his efforts weren’t successful, but he managed to inflict a lot of misery, publishing my undisclosed full name and other personal details all over the web and embarking on a campaign of character assassination. All because readers here pointed out a simple truth: Mark Anthony Jones likes to make things up. Anyway, it’s a sad story, and I hope he comes to peace with who he is and learns that you can’t make fools of people and expect to get away with it forever.]

Update: I realize this is a very long comment thread. If you don’t have the wherewithal to get through the entire thing, at least be sure to see this comment. But do try to read it all- it’s astonishing. Thanks.

Update, January 26, 2010: I originally had a picture of a crying baby here. I am taking it down. I learned today that Jones is dead, and I am not comfortable with any image making fun of him.


Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 214 Comments

For the last couple of days I have been trying to engage him in debate, just out of a desire to see what makes him tick, but — yes, of course — he merely used his replies for more narcissistic ramblings about Richard.

I too won’t be giving him the oxygen of publicity any more.

January 14, 2006 @ 3:50 am | Comment

Well, he’s gone and deleted half of the comments and his article on China Daily, due to my comment above, or so he says. If so, I’ll say Thank You. The proof of the sincerity behind the gesture will be simple enough: Can he leave me alone? That’s an extremely small thing to ask. His track record say no, he cannot. But I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

January 14, 2006 @ 5:07 am | Comment

surely you two — Richard and Madge — can engage in some nuclear disarmanent. you know, gradually remove personal references and suchforth, refrain from mentioning one another, remove some more references, Richard can ask people to hold off googlebombing or whatever for the time being, until there’s little left on the web to cause unpleasantesses in the future (while reserving of course the right to republish old material if the other crosses the line of control), I’m not saying delete all the descriptions of Madge’s nonsense but eventually take offline the threads which discuss nothing else, reciprocated by China Daily postings deleted….
not that I’m saying in anyway you two share blame for the past, of course.
that’d be the best result, no?

January 14, 2006 @ 9:20 am | Comment

I will certainly consider it, after I see that the gesture is sincere. I never wanted to go this route, and my blog was free of references to Madge for months. He insisted on reigniting things, once more blasting my full name across the blogosphere, unprovoked. This is what he wanted, despite my pleas not to use my name. But it was nothing personal.

January 14, 2006 @ 9:27 am | Comment

SALT I is the common name for the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks Agreement. SALT I froze the number of strategic ballistic missile launchers at existing levels, and provided for the addition of new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launchers only after the same number of older intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and SLBM launchers had been dismantled.

SALT II was a second round of talks from 1972-1979 between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which sought to curtail the manufacture of strategic nuclear weapons. It was a continuation of progress made during the SALT I talks.


When President Carter signed the SALT II treaty in June 1979, he gave Brezhnev a kiss on the cheek.

(all ctrl+v Wikipedia)

January 14, 2006 @ 9:42 am | Comment

Trust but verify, as Reagan famously said.

January 14, 2006 @ 9:54 am | Comment

Hi guys,

Been away for a while, as I’m on holiday. But for now, three observations about the last few comments here:

1. Carter kissed Brezhnev because in Russia it’s a sign of trust, NOT as a sign of personal affection. It’s more a sign of trust than of intimacy, although in Russia the two are closely linked. (Among Russian men, a mere handshake seems cold and distant. Carter was advised of this. A Russian man will not entirely trust another man unless they kiss each other. In fact it’s considered effeminate for a man to avoid kissing other men; it’s taken as a sign of a weak, cold spirit.) And,

2. Brezhnev was ruthless, but he wasn’t Cuckoo For Cocoa Puffs and he didn’t go around the world making up multiple identities for himself to confuse other World Leaders.

3. Brezhnev never sent photos of his penis to any other world leaders.

January 15, 2006 @ 4:16 am | Comment

Richard, you need to update this page now with MAJ’s attempts to submit self-pitying nonsense and self-aggrandisement under another reader’s name.

February 23, 2006 @ 4:34 am | Comment

In a conversation with negotiators beginning at 2:45 p.m., Koresh agreed to send Mark Anthony Jones, age 12, out of the compound as soon as Koresh completed his “Bible study” with the negotiators. Koresh launched into his monologue at 2:48 p.m., and continued without interruption until 3:51 p.m. This “Bible study,” as with Koresh’s other preaching and sermonizing, rambled and made little sense, except perhaps to his followers. As always, the focus was on “unlocking” the Seven Seals and interpreting God’s intentions about the end of the world. At the end of the “Bible study,” at 4:26 p.m., the child came out of the compound with a bag containing the puppies.

June 27, 2006 @ 5:29 am | Comment

[…] below a worthwhile caution concerning the author of the essay referenced above. Having checked the damning evidence provided, it appears that Mark Anthony Jones has been caught consistently plagiarizing others in […]

May 10, 2009 @ 5:00 pm | Pingback

A link was given in a reply at CNreviews where MAJ trashes this site and you, Richard. Commenting on that, Kai wrote:

“Hm, interesting link. Seems like there’s an age-old feud going on surrounding MAJ and Richard that many of us were completely unaware of. Thanks CnInDC for sharing the link. It presents another side of the whole MAJ credibility issue. That said, I do personally wish the comments on this post can actually focus on the points regarding Tiananmen brought up by MAJ’s article, instead of becoming a proxy battlefield for the credibility of the author or those of his detractors.”

In response to which I offered:

“Interesting, indeed. I would say, however, that the article and its author’s credibility are not so easily separated when discussing the contents of said article. Further, the link expresses opinions about Richard and his site that I doubt would be shared by any of the bloggers that you respect (and at least one of those that you don’t).”

The above reply was deleted for reasons that pass understanding. Therefore, if you’ll forgive me, I place it here where it also has some relevance. I do this because the comment was valid and appropriate.

May 11, 2009 @ 6:42 pm | Comment

@Stuart – Mate, I don’t know who that Kai Pan is, but I think that’s a pretty atrocious way to run a blog.

May 11, 2009 @ 11:32 pm | Comment

[…] to later learn that literally all of his comments were cut and pasted from articles he found using Google searches. My apologies for all of those who were made fools of. Baked by Richard @ 6:32 pm, Filed under: […]

January 27, 2010 @ 1:53 am | Pingback

[…] I learned what he was doing, I put up the post that resulted in the most remarkable comment thread I’ve ever seen, anywhere. This set in motion a feud that included Jones writing two separate […]

January 27, 2010 @ 2:06 am | Pingback

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