A cancer seeking to infect the China blogosphere

If I could go back in time, I would have ignored an impassioned email I received from someone making complaints against the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing. I fell for it, or at least I found it credible enough to mention it on my site and ask for the comments of others. Bad mistake.

Other China bloggers, including my good friend Joseph Bosco, warned me that there was a complex story behind all this and that the charges were less than honorable. No one asked me to delete the post; it was my own decision.

To my deep dismay, the original emailer, Uriel, has taken this episode and blown it up into a major issue, using it to smear Joseph in a manner one might expect from an enraged child or someone bearing an ancient family grudge. Joseph’s wife Ellen has just posted about this insanity.

Frankly I wish it would all die and go away, but Uriel is redefining the very concept of the word “asshole,” creating incredible stress for people just for the sake of winning some attention.

I bring it all up again now only because I want you to see Ellen’s post, and to be aware that this guy is out there, lying and slandering whoever he crosses.

If anyone approaches you to tell his story on your own blog, all I can say is delete his request and steer very clear. I sure wish I had. (And Uriel, if you comment to this post I promise I will delete it as fast as I can. You’re a menace, and many other Chinese bloggers know it.) Sorry for the passion, but people who might get sucked into Uriel’s bizarrre universe need to understand what’s going on here. And then, I want this entire episode to end forever.

Update: Read Angry Chinese Blogger’s intelligent response to this nightmare.

The Discussion: 13 Comments

Post his IP address in your comments so other bloggers can block him. I don’t want him coming over to my place. What a jerk.

September 9, 2004 @ 5:00 am | Comment

When you step in the poop, you make sure its elephant poop, huh?

That’s one reason I ignore most of the pitches that come to me via my blog.

September 9, 2004 @ 8:51 am | Comment

About 20 percent of the stuff on this blog comes to me from suggestions emailed to me from readers. I had no idea I was dealing with a psychopath.

September 9, 2004 @ 9:04 am | Comment

Uriel, don’t bother posting again here, please. They’re only gonna get zapped. (That last one was quite over the top.) A word of caring and compassionate advice: Get a life. Do you really think years from now that you’ll look back at this and be proud of what you’re doing? My only crime was printing your message and then retracting it when it was proven false, but you’re going at me as though I murdered you children. What’s going on? Don’t you have any idea what it looks like to adults? (Those are rhetorical questions; if you reply, I have no choice but to delete.)

September 9, 2004 @ 5:36 pm | Comment

Chuck, his IP address is

September 9, 2004 @ 6:04 pm | Comment

I think that Richard has said it all, this man visited my blog and used emotive language to try and ‘recruit me’ and my readership, and I will go on record as saying that he appears to have a very real problem.

If a polite request from one educated man to another can be equated to pressuring another blogger to remove comments then I must be violently robbing my local Raman stand each time I order noodles from it.

Beware of half stories and missing integrity.

This man is quite capable of using impassioned speeches and emotive language to drag people in, and he can be quite convincing until you actually look at the lengths that he has gone to, to defame Mr. Bosco. Anybody who writes that much and with so passion to, attack somebody he doesn’t even really know, has far too much time.

This isn’t just Richard and Joseph collaborating to defame Mr. Wittenberg and it isn’t just myself bemoaning spam on my blog. Mr. Wittenberg is looking for recruits to let support in his personal grudge.

September 9, 2004 @ 8:19 pm | Comment


Will look up his IP for you, but he probably has a variable IP so it might not help much.

September 9, 2004 @ 8:21 pm | Comment

Thanks ACB — you’re a class act, even if I don’t always agree with you.

September 9, 2004 @ 8:28 pm | Comment

Is this the same guy from some time ago who had these bizarre reasonings about China-US policy?

I thought it was just a commenter.

September 9, 2004 @ 9:54 pm | Comment


Thank you. I second Richard: You are indeed a class act. While there are a couple of political and historical priorities you and I have disagreed on politely, your intellectual integrity is always present and remarkable.

This whole affair has been most unpleasant and personally troublesome–coming from a man I know not at all. My intentions have always been clear: I wish not to help his cause in defaming China, Chinese college students–particularly female students–and a fine Chinese university.

He says I do not refute his claims. I will say this: The students he defames by name in his rant were students of mine the following year and they tell an entirely different story. The sexual harrassment and cultural embarrassment he inclicted upon young Chinese ladies was still palpably evident in their recollection of the weeks when this man disrupted their academic and personal lives–and the entire campus, which is quite small, with only a thousand students.

Not only did the students he names tell a different story, but so did the school officials he names, along with the foreign teachers he also names who were there throughout. Everyone at CFAU is trying to forget this man and talk only of his malignant presence there with pain and sadness. He, of course, is discussed at the first orientation meeting for new foreign professors since all of them read his diatribe in their Google research before accepting a position on the faculty. The school administrators know this and address it rationally, without rancor, and only briefly unless more direct questions are asked.

I go on at too long for a comments piece, but I had to thank you and also explain things just a little.

All the best,


September 9, 2004 @ 10:09 pm | Comment

Thanks for the insights into our friend, Joseph.

Doug, I don’t think so. He talks only about one thing, and that’s the university and how mean it was to him.

September 10, 2004 @ 7:21 am | Comment

Uriel, that last comment was pretty slick. In case you don’t know, I can tell in a few seconds where the comment is coming from. Again, please grow up, please get a life.

September 10, 2004 @ 8:51 am | Comment

I’ve been a victim of Uriel. Read about it at The Uriel Chronicles section of my weblog.

January 6, 2005 @ 6:01 am | Comment

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