Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Art of Self-Loathing

Can a Jew make anti-Semitic remarks?  Can a gay man be a homophobe?  The idea seems oxymoronic or laughable.  Sadly, however, I've seen them both in action of late on Twitter.   The next question is whether the person is somehow excused from making the comment, just because he or she belongs to the group?  Is it a "get out Jail free" card to mock Jews for having "big noses" because you are Jewish; or to characterise other gay men as "uppity, in-your-face, camp-as-tits-faggots who'll rape you as soon as look at you" because you are gay?
Jewish anti-Semitism

Jewish anti-Semitism goes back a long way.  In the 12th century Benjamin of Tuleda records in his "Travels of Benjamin" animosity towards Jews from the Greeks of Constantinople.  Wealthy Jewish merchants explained this to Benjamin by blaming poor, "filthy" Jewish tanners for the problem.  It's a classic example of victims ignoring the actual roots of hatred directed at them, and instead focusing their dislike and anger on poorer elements of their own community.  Rather than challenge the endemic Christian anti-Semitism, the merchants accept the prejudices, differentiate between themselves and other Jews, and indulge in their own Jewish anti-Semitism.   

This can neatly be summarised some 700 years later by the Austrian Jewish writer Max Nordau.  He wrote in 1896 "It is the greatest triumph of anti-Semitism that is has brought the Jews to view themselves with anti-Semitic eyes."

The concept gained widespread modern recognition after the publication in 1930 of the book Der J├╝dische Selbsthass ("Jewish Self-hatred") by German Jew Theodor Lessing.   He explained in his book the phenomenon of intellectual Jews who regarded Judaism as a source of evil in the world, and who incited physical anti-Semitism against other Jews.

Another example of the phenomenon struck me reading the diaries of Professor Victor Klemperer.  Klemperer, from Dresden, wrote the only complete set of diaries of a German Jew during the Third Reich.  In an entry of 10 January 1939, Klemperer brings up and actually implicity accepts the Nazi concept of the "Jewish Question".  He rejects it explicitly with reference to atheist, assimilated Jews such as himself, but acknowledges there is an issue with the Yiddish speaking "Ostjuden" or Jews who have immigrated from Eastern Europe.  That he should accept this anti-Semitic Nazi concept on any level, having suffered at their hands, just months before the beginning of WW2, is extraordinary.

One of the leading experts on this phenomenon is Kenneth Levin, clinical instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  I understand the basic idea is that the victimised accept on some level the attacks of, and develop empathy with, their abusers.  This may be a manifestation of chronic low self-esteem: you are in effect accepting that you deserve to be attacked.

"Bigotry and Big Noses"

To me, there is absolutely no question that Jews can mock, dislike, or even actively hate and wish harm on other Jews as a category.  Taking a step back, this is no more exceptional than suggesting human beings can hate other human beings.  Just because you belong to any group does not mean you like, defend or feel empathy towards the other members of it.

Some would disagree and get really quite agitated about this logic.  Look at these recent outbursts from Milo Yiannopoulos (aka @Nero, the founder of the troubled technology/gossip magazine The Kernel):

It's a bit "loopy" to suggest a Jew can be anti-Semitic

Again the excuse "I'm Jewish" so can't be anti-Semitic

It's "mental" to say a Jew can be anti-Semitic 

I assume Milo has not heard of Benjamin of Tuleda, Nordau, Klemperer or Levin.  There's no crime in that, of course.

Also, in his favour, it should be explained that Milo isn't the happiest little soul at the moment.  The background to these tweets is that he is reacting very aggressively to a piece written about him and posted by Max Dunbar which Milo claims is libelous.  The post sets out offensive, threatening emails allegedly sent by Milo to a writer at the Kernel who wasn't paid.  It mentions his non-payment of bills to other writers at the magazine, which is a recurring theme the Guardian has picked up on.  A lot of journalists and photographers are extremely unhappy about the Kernel's apparent repeated refusal to pay its contributors.  An award of over £16,000 was made just yesterday by a tribunal, for example, to the journalist Jason Hesse against Sentinel Media Limited t/a Kernel Magazine.  If unpaid, enforcement action could include a winding up petition against Sentinel and depending on his actions, personal liability on behalf of its sole director, Milo.

Despite all this, what seems to have upset Milo the most in the post is the comment "He doesn’t like lesbians, very much it seems.  Then we might take his view on Jews."  There follows a link to this thread of tweets:

Jews' characteristics include "bigotry and big noses".  Is this an offensive, stereotypical and (extremely unoriginal) anti-Semitic comment?  In my opinion it is.  Milo states his faith as Roman Catholic elsewhere, but during this exchange he has repeatedly said that he is a Jew.  This is presumably by virtue of birth.  As we have seen, he claims this prima facie entirely anti-Semitic tweet cannot be so, simply because the author is Jewish.  Plenty would disagree.

Like any other form of prejudice, Jewish anti-Semitism can be subtle and one-off (I'm sure Professor Klemperer would not have categorised himself as anti-Semitic), or it can be overt and repeated.  One anti-Semitic comment obviously does not however make someone an anti-Semite.  Despite Milo's repeat attempts to characterise it as otherwise, the post on Max Dunbar's did not actually say that, and simply pulled him up on this one mocking anti-Jewish comment.

Iron Crosses and Hitler Biographies

The Iron Cross dates back to 1813.  It is a Prussian medal first awarded by King Frederick William III during the Napoleonic Wars.  It was reintroduced during three wars of German aggression: the Franco-Prussian war, the First World War and finally by a Reich decree on 1 September 1939.  This was the very day that Nazi forces invaded Poland, that the subjugation of the people of Eastern Europe began, and the foundation stones for the genocide of the Jewish people were laid.

Iron Cross Decree: 1 September 1939

The Iron Cross is the very embodiment of German militarism, and for many people they think of it as one of the core symbols of the Nazi period.  Hitler himself was awarded the Iron Cross, Classes 1 and 2. 

Therefore the Iron Cross is perhaps not the type of thing you'd expect to see most young Jews embracing and wearing.  Nonetheless, above is an interesting shot of 22 year old Milo Wagner (as Yiannopoulos was then calling himself) wearing one during the summer of 2006.  It's from a publicly available Flickr account (see postscript) in a set called "Me".  Is it actually Milo?  Well yes of course it is.  Here's a head shot this time, with the same shirt and the earphones. 

Anyone would think he'd be ashamed to be identified with this symbol of German and Nazi Third Reich militarism and that's why he cropped his head from the photo.  Now, if we scroll back past four pictures of Milo posing in some public toilets (entitled "Railway Toilets I, II, III, IV") on the same photo stream, we come to this picture of some Hitler biographies:

The Kershaw biographies are standard reads for students of the Third Reich.  I'm glad Milo is looking through them: they are an excellent study into what an evil philosophy Nazism was.  He may even have educated himself on the Reich decree of 1 September 1939 and what the Iron Cross represents. 

Given there are just 30 pictures in this photo stream, mainly of Milo's face, I'm genuinely not sure what exactly he is trying to say by assembling the images of the Iron Cross and the Hitler biographies together.  Oh, and are those actually Milo's hands?  Well judging by the ring it certainly looks like a match.  The photo below is taken from the same photo stream by Milo Wagner entitled "Me":

Same type of ring, same finger, similar hands.

UPDATE:  This image has just come to light that was reposted by Milo (top left) in 2009.  

If this were Twitter, one could defensively claim that "RTs aren't endorsements".  Whether one's employers, for example, would see it like that is a different matter of course.

However, the image is not from Twitter.  It is from a now defunct service called "Popjam".  There when you "RT"d something, it had an explicit point: that you thought people would find it funny.  It wasn't like Twitter where people will RT vicious things said to them in order to shame someone, for instance.  On Popjam, it was all about the LOLs. That's the key point. "See this image, laugh like I'm doing." Not "see this image, be revolted by it" or "see this image, consider its truth."  You actually scored points for getting LOLs on Popjam.

If you'd like an explanation of Popjam ("Ever get bored of endlessly surfing around the net, looking for LOLs") just click here.  The short little piece is by none other than Milo Yiannopoulos.  It was written before the Telegraph parted company with him, following the posting of the image.

If you look at the bottom of the image there is a LOL button.  At the top you can see it was reposted by Milo.  Milo claims that he flagged it as inappropriate.  He says that it is "misrepresenting" he actions to suggest otherwise.

How odd, then, that this search (scroll down to "In yo' face!" which is the name of the post) shows that he in fact did no such thing.  It was in fact LOLd by him (twice).  Perhaps his memory doesn't serve him well.  That would be strange, given that the image caused such difficulties for him and his journalistic career.

Again, if it's necessary to state the obvious, making jokes about Hitler killing Jews doesn't make you anti-Semitic, or suggest you agree with any aspect of Hitler's policies.  It's a "joke" - but it does mean you have a sense of humour that most people would find distinctly unpleasant.  It's doubly curious from someone who is a young Jew and would, I'm sure, attract the disdain of many in the Jewish community.

Homosexuality is Wrong

I've known plenty of gays who suffer from low self-esteem.  It can manifest itself in destructive behaviour, addiction and sometimes an active dislike of other gay men.  You hear jokes where gay men call each other "poofs", "queers" and use the third person feminine to mock someone ("What's she up to tonight?" when referring to another gay man etc).

Another group of gays belong to the "straight acting" category, who dislike anyone who acts "camply" and is too effeminate for the way they think people should behave.  Their homophobia towards such people is as strong and vicious as anything I have ever heard from a straight person.

The reason I set out the material on anti-Semitic Jews at the beginning of this post is two-fold.  It counters the argument that a Jew cannot ever be guilty of making anti-Semitic comments.  Of course they can.  But it also is interesting to draw parallels with other forms of dislike of a group you belong to, because the psychology is so similar.

Using Levin's analysis, homophobia by gay people must be the very same pattern of acceptance and internalising of prejudice from abusers.  The abused then apply this to themselves and to members of their own group.   To alter Nordau's quote, is it perhaps the greatest triumph of homophobia that it has brought gays to view themselves with homophobic eyes?

Milo is gay.  Let's look at some of his thoughts on the subject taken from his public blog:
"The thought that I might influence my child towards a lifestyle choice guaranteed to bring them pain and unhappiness – however remote that chance may be – is horrifying to me."
"I’d describe myself as 90-95% gay. I would never have chosen to be this way. No one would choose it. You’d have to be mad. "
"No one would choose to have a gay child rather than a straight one. It would be like wishing that they were born disabled – not just because homosexuality is aberrant, but because that child will suffer unnecessarily. Again, you’d have to be mad. Or evil. "
"Is being homosexual “wrong”? Something somewhere inside of me says Yes."
"The feelings of alienation and rejection [growing up gay] engenders are responsible for the sorts of repugnant tribal posturing you see on the streets of Soho on a Friday night, as bitterly unhappy queers engage in degrading and repulsive behaviour, simply because they want to feel a part of something after a lifetime of marginalisation."
"All these preening poofs in public life do is make life more difficult for regular young gay people by reinforcing the stereotypes about gay behaviour: reminding a struggling child’s myopic dad that queers are uppity, in-your-face, camp-as-tits faggots who’ll rape you as soon as look at you."
"I don’t hate myself and I don’t hate my sexuality. (Granted, I have a complicated relationship with the latter.) Nor do I hate other gay men. (Where would fat girls be without them?)"

Milo posing: "Railway Toilets III"

Are the above comments homophobic?  If a straight person called me a "bitterly unhappy queer", a "preening poof" or "a camp as tits faggot" I'd say this was the very definition of homophobic abuse and hate language.  This poisonous bile actually makes me feel a bit sick.   Milo's post led me to write my own blog post a while back on why I would actually, genuinely choose to be gay.

Dislike of lesbians is another expression of gay homophobia and prejudice: this might not be strictly speaking because of self-hatred, but it is certainly a noticeable and unpleasant characteristic of more than a few gay men.  Here's a selection of tweets that show our friend Milo spewing out repeated homophobia directed at lesbians:

The one that pretty much seems to sum up Milo's views is the typically articulate one below.  It is a response to a series of portraits of trans* men.  There is actually nothing to suggest they are lesbian, so Milo gets a tick for transphobia too whilst we are at it:

A Media-Hungry Influencer

Does it matter that anyone who is apparently so deeply unhappy with his own life should use their self-proclaimed "semi public position" to put this stuff on homosexuality into the public arena? 

I rather think it does.  Milo controls an online magazine.   He is a angry opponent of marriage equality and is not shy of getting himself quoted to show that some gay people are opposed to the move.  In a similar vein, he also somehow managed to convince Channel 4 News that because he was opposed to the LGBT friendly Catholic Soho Masses this represented a split in gay Catholic opinion.

When a prominent evangelical pastor declares his support for same-sex relationships this is inherently more newsworthy and of interest than a gay campaigner saying he supports them.  Similarly when a gay man goes out into the media and attacks the attempts of his community to achieve equal treatment, it is seized upon as representing something much more than the self-loathing tendencies of one individual. 

Like it or not (I do not), Milo is an influencer and not just on Twitter.  For how much longer he remains so is anyone's question, of course, given his publication's financial troubles and his general standing amongst the journalist community.  There are times when you can't help but feel a lot of pity for him - and then you read his comments about "fat girls", "preening poofs" or Jews being "bigoted and having big noses" and you change your mind.

Get Out of Jail Card

What is clear is that just because you're a member of any given group or groups, you are not immune from indulging in bigotry towards those groups.  However, do you warrant a "Get out of Jail Card" if you choose to express these prejudices?

In my opinion you do not.  Anti-semitism, homophobia, sexism and racism are all accepted by most people (and by the law) as being objectionable and wrong.  Milo's excuse for his anti-lesbian comments is that he is gay.  Does that make them any less nasty or unpleasant for a lesbian reader of the comments?  No: in fact you could say that it makes the culpability worse.  He apparently has experienced pain and unhappiness as a result of being gay, yet he's happy repeatedly to turn his hatred on other gay people in a public forum.

Is it okay for a Jew to make an anti-Semitic "joke" or to wear an Iron Cross?  I think most Jews would say it isn't - and in the case of the Iron Cross, in fact it's even more offensive and disrespectful for a member of the people who suffered so horrendously to wear this symbol of German militarism.  Of course ultimately it's entirely up to him: people will make their own judgements and he can live with that.  I'd just advise him heavily not to try pulling this prank on one of his regular jaunts to Berlin.  His defence that he's a Jew "so this is okay" might not be too readily accepted.  In my experience, 19th and 20th century right wing military symbols aren't terribly in vogue at the moment in modern day Germany.

A Wider Phenomenon

I feel sorry for Milo.  It can't be pleasant carrying all this round with you.  He is just an easily referenced example for a much wider phenomenon though.  It's important to get that there's nothing self-contradictory at all about a Jew mocking other Jews, or for a gay to be deeply homophobic.  The question is whether we dismiss it, or reflect on it, and point it out to those engaging in it.


I gave Milo the opportunity of confirming or denying whether the photo stream (including the image of him wearing the Iron Cross and with the Hitler biographies) was his.  He neither expressly confirmed nor denied it, but within an hour the Flickr account had been deleted, having been inactive for over six years.

The name Milo Wagner with the word [deleted] behind the account still appears on comments he previously left on Flickr, however.  Here's one left on a photo posted by David Haywood Smith.  He happens to be Milo's business associate at the Kernel.

One screenshot of the (now) deleted Milo Wagner account


  1. What an extraordinarily long-winded way of saying you have a lot of time on your hands, no sense of humour and don't like me very much. Baffling, really.

  2. He's not Jewish.

  3. He really is a self-facilitating media node

  4. There's nothing really quick as MY comment on a critical blogpost. There are a few coming now. He is going to be busy with the responses. Nothing been said for so long then thyou Peter and others writing shaming blogposts

    It is not MY alone who puts him here. He has supporters that he has surrounded. Many are jokers. Others are not but more serious business people with big names like Michael Acton-Smith (Mind Candy), Richard Moross (Moo), Bindia Karia (Microsoft), Sherry Coutu (Linkedin), . There is a list on the Kernel site of these 50 names. Will they be nervous about their names and business names showing there Watch that list trickle! Or even vanish!!

    There is a polician too on the list. A Government Minister. He has tweeted about social times with MY. WAtch those tweets vanish!.... A Government Minister with a friend who puts his Nazi medals pictures online is something a real newspaper will put real interest into. Maybe the Guaridan is already asking him?? Maybe the technology scene is boring to the real world but a polician's choice of friends in public and if these pictures are true friends wearing the Iron Cross - I am shocked when I see this -then this story is not going away soon. Maybe going away by ignoring this seems a usual method for MY.

    There is the feeling of another story where all the people knew that some body was bad but nobody would say then as the walls came apart every body said well they knew it all the time that wrong things were happening. It is that time now for MY

  5. Three sraight questions for Milo:

    1. Are you in fact Jewish? If not, you have lied in a number of tweets whilst threatening libel.

    2. Why do you (or did you) wear an Iron Cross?

    3. If your reaction to PME's post is really as relaxed as you affect, why did you immediately delete the Flickr account when PME first contacted you?

  6. Milo, you may wish to find another line of work. HMV are recruit... oh, errr, Jess... Bollocks.

  7. What the actual f*ck? Have you genuinely got nothing better to do than construct specious 2,800 word character assassinations based on some old holiday photos?

    Have you thought about taking up a hobby? Ballroom dancing, perhaps. Or bridge? Bridge is a good one. Quite time-consuming and very sociable.

    Best of luck with it all anyway x

    1. I know a good hobby: copying and pasting someone's blog post, feeding it through Word and doing a word count to find out how long it is. Who would have the time, interest or inclination to do that, one wonders?

      There's clearly nothing else substantive to say about the odious nature of the anti-Semitic and homophobic comments. They speak for themselves.

    2. Hey, Anonymous,PME2013's first line there... total pwnage. He ziiiiinged you good.

      You have to admit it.

      A. Nother. Anonymous

    3. Hi Milo! How's that 'crusade for justice and truth' working out for you?

    4. Well, given that Milo's speciality subject is Character Assassination, this blog posts seems entirely appropriate to me.

  8. Milo isn't in fact Jewish, or for that matter Catholic. He just invented that for PR and his herald work and has stuck to it, i've known him for a long time and he's an athiest. Oh and ask him about what happened with the dodgy heavies at his party with all the NDAs...

  9. It is lucky that the supportive comment at 00:57 is nothing like Milo's writing style or choice of language. Misconceived allegations of astroturfing would only make all this even messier.

  10. This raises a good point about Milo's "Trollwatch" about exposing the on-line activities of others.

    When Peter confronted Milo with the Flickr account (which was under his name, or one of them), Milo responded by seeking to escape the consequences of his own on-line activity and deleted the account. Too late, as we can see.

    In fact, it seems Milo uses at least three surnames for his various on-line activity - Yiannopolous, Wagner, and Hanrahan. He sometimes also uses a middle name, Andreas. Why would a proponent of "real names" do such a thing? He even is registered at companies house as a director under at least two seperate names - Yiannopolous and Hanrahan, curious to say the least.

    The real reason why Milo wants "real names" is not to prevent on-line bullying but to make it easier for HIM to on-line bully his critics and business associates, either by nasty blackmailing emails (see Dunbar's post) or by libel threats (see above and Dunbar post) or by hatchet jobs at the Kernel (see the Kernel every day or two).

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  13. Be careful - you may be doing exactly what Milo wants. After the Max Dunbar post, Milo repeatedly asked Max to take down the piece, threatened to sue Max for defamation, then spent a day on Twitter grumbling about it. In the course of the threatening and grumbling, Milo mentioned the phrase 'Anti-Semitic' several times.

    Most people, I think, would summarise Max's post as alleging that Milo is dishonest, a bully, does not honour his debts, and regularly insults people in quite a cruel fashion. I would much rather Milo sued Max over the allegations Max actually made, which are interesting and serious.

    Max makesonly one mention of Jewish people: as an example to support his claim that Milo "is far from shy about voicing strong opinions on individuals, or entire social groups, who fail to please him." After that, the word "Jews" was hyper-linked to Milo's tweet shown above.

    I don't think believe that having strong opinions about Jews is the same as being anti-semitic. The only opinion we have on that is Milo's own. I suppose we should take the man as an authority on his own anti-semitism, but I suspect Milo wants to sue Max, and he wants to re-frame the terms of the dispute.

    1. I see what you're saying and thanks. However, any libel judge would look at what was actually said in Max's post, not what Milo wants people to think it said. You and I have both pointed out that there was only one example of a remark that many would consider anti-Semitic. The post does not allege that Milo is generally anti-Semitic, nor does mine.

      The psychology of the "Jew hating Jew" is used by me to demonstrate that the basis of his refutations are silly and to draw parallels with gay hating gays. I would say he is generally homophobic (and hates lesbians) on the basis of the evidence I have.

      I also agree with the comment below: he is full of bluff and bluster. I would be quite happy to see details of his private and business life brought out in public in court in any argument about the truth of Max's or my posts.

  14. Milo will sue Max? Don't think so. He didn't even bother to send lawyers to court in the Jason Hesse case probably because, er, he hasn't got any. Like everyone else I will take a bit of convincing that MY is Jewish - it sprang out of nowhere just when it was convenient for him. I like the comment earlier, that everyone in tech knew someone bad was getting away with murder but no-one until the last week has had the guts to say so.

  15. Anyone heard of Valhalla Medics? They employ Milo Yiannopoulos as company secretary. Valhalla, Wagner, coincidence?

  16. Valhalla is a Wagner reference who is a hero for many anti-Semites. Someone briefly changed their name to Wagner, I remember.

  17. Valhalla Medics? You mean a medical practice with the ability to prescribe drugs?

  18. The reason Valhalla Medics is interesting is because for a young guy who doesn't have any cash Milo has been involved in the setting up of one hell of a lot of companies.

    Counterknowledge Ltd
    Hipster Ventures Ltd
    Wrong Agency Ltd
    Sentinel Media Ltd
    Valhalla Medics Ltd

    As someone said, these companies often exist for "obscure purposes".

  19. Car-crash. Will he still be "happy" when he finds out about the Nazi stuff? Let us pray that Tom Watson doesn't get wind of this one. I don't think he's a fan.

  20. Now Milo says on Twitter he's Jewish by blood, converted to Catholicism. Who knows what his bloodline is, it's a very recent convenient claim but he has never converted to Catholicism. Ask him where & when he became RC, it's easily checkable.

  21. So Yiannopoulos is either a liar or a Jew who wears an Iron Cross (and proudly puts the pic on Flickr for six years).

    Not a wonderful couple of alternatives there.

  22. It's likely that his grandfather was Yiannopoulos and his grandmother Hanrahan.
    His father when born Jun 1953 was named Nicolas Yiannopoulos, but at some stage he reverted to using his mothers surname of Hanrahan. He himself when born Oct 1984 was named Milo Hanrahan but he then changed back to Yiannopoulos, in effect reversing the name change undertaken by his father.
    Place of registration in both cases is Chatham, Kent and these records are easy to validate as the England & Wales Birth Index, 1916-2005 is online. No check was undertaken to see if either name change was legally effected by deed poll.
    Andreas Wagner it would appear was only ever a figment of his imagination.

    1. No, this cannot be correct. Milo himself tells us he was born in Atehens in 1983 and

      Oh wait.

    2. Also here:

      Where he also claims to be a "natively fluent" German speaker.

  23. Petronella T Hanrahan (nana Petra) was born Q2 1933 in Medway, Kent and her mother was a Braeden. This would suggest Irish Catholic lineage. Her husband was Andreas Yiannopoullos (double L in this spelling of it) and he was born Q2 1937 in Marylebone, London and his mother was a Sotirios, so Greek lineage, faith unknown.
    On his maternal side, Milo's mother as recorded on his birth cert is Baker, faith unknown.
    It's possible, but not probable, that Milo once was Jewish.

    1. Slight correction: the above reference to husband should read partner as his grandparents on his fathers side, Petronella and Andreas, never married.

  24. Nice to have the Oct 84 birth date confirmed. The great man himself has given Oct 83 on occasion.

    During his Wagner period he would sometimes strike poses as being of German lineage, and a fluent German speaker. Not aware of any evidence of either, beyond Milo's fertile imagination.

  25. For some reason, the Catholic Herald has removed all his posts from their website. He was their 'Chief Feature Writer'. When this happened, one doesnt know.

    Curiouser and curiouser.

  26. From a Wiki entry written by "Milohanrahan" deleted in 2005. Name phoney, DOB wrong, wasn't a philosophy undergrad at Cambridge, internet reveals no trace of the essay.

    Milo Andreas Wagner (b Oct 18 1983), a philosophy undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, has caused interest and controversy in the English-speaking philosophical community already after numerous polemics in philosophical journals denouncing current trends in analytic philosophy ... His essay Der Kunstmacht and its separately bound introduction Entstehung der Kunstauferstehungs are parodies of Nietzsche's aphoristic style. They are themselves exercises in style, largely devoid of substance, as the author freely admits. Wagner sees much of modern philosophy as pointlessly restrictive exercises in academic logic, and in writing his philosophy aims to make philosophy more prophetic, more accessible and 'more meaningless'.

  27. Still at least Ben Rooney has his back. So he should. Ben wrote on his blog that he got all these threats to out him from some mysterious troll out there (yes another unknown troll).

    Milo got sent the threats too but found it within his stony heart to rise above any temptation to do something malicious with them.

    It will probably come out eventually that _lots_ of other journos and bloggers were also getting these horrible messages about Ben sent to them over the course of a year and it will all end well with the unknown troll looking evil and Milo looking angelic. A rare example of a fine journalist standing up and doing the right thing. Perhaps he will get some award in recognition at one of the ceremonies he's now touring.

  28. Well if there is a Greek in his background then that person is going to be Orthodox Christian (certainly NOT Catholic, big split there!) 99% of the time. The name Petra is not common to Ireland but central and southern Europe. So, that's a bit confusing. I know plenty of mixed marriage Greek/Catholics. Oh, and by the way, the government didn't force either church to marry them even though they had a right to CIVIL marriage. Now, ask Milo if the Catholic church would have allowed/accepted a civil marriage between his Catholic ancestors and his Jewish ones.....I doubt it!

    Wagner isn't the most pro-Jewish name now is it?

    Personally, I think he's just so homophobic because the Catholic Church got to him. They have a tendency to abuse the mind as well as the body.

  29. Re Ben Rooney

    Yes, it would be interesting how many other journalists (if any at all) were getting these horrible messages. It does prompt a very pointed question. There is another plausible explanation for what happened to poor Ben Rooney and Milo's role in it all.

  30. A broader issue also needs to be addressed - MY's use of unnamed people. Do they always (ever) exist?

    Don't mean his habit of saying "we" and "us" when tweeting from his Kernel Twitter account - even though there is no one else. Nor the the constant reference to "lawyers" who don't exist (see Hesse tribunal) but who he said in Forbes accounted for half a supposed £50,000 injection.

    Mean his stories and tweets. The poor chap who was thrown off Facebook for "harrassment". The students selling sex to pay fees. The Guardian Executive who told him bad things about Jemima Kiss. The "people in the industry tell me" line which he fluently trots out in his attention grabbing tweets and Kernel emails.

    Last year MY announced that a Downing Street adviser was about to resign. He had the "scoop". This was denied by Downing Street. MY said that he stood by his story and had THREE senior sources to back him up. A year later the adviser in still in post. Did those three senior sources exist? And if so, why were they so wrong?

    After that fiasco, MY switched to using unamed sources in a less verifiable and exposed way. But a look at his "journalism' over time sees a constant reliance on such sources, especially for providing the sting of a sensational story.

  31. This is a massive stitch up

  32. How much money has MY actually earned during his career as a journalist? He has never been on the staff of a media organization unless you count his own vanity publication. It would be interesting to compare what he's earned to what he's spent, given that he has never attracted serious investment. Where does the money come from to finance his self-indulgent lifestyle at a time when he has overwhelming outstanding debts?

  33. A stitch up?

    But Milo said that "real names" led to better on-line accountability!

    1. Frankly I'm amazed at this material coming in. This post was about the dislike of some people towards their groups: Milo was a very handy hook to hang it on by way of personal demonstration. His absurd flurry of "Jews can't be anti-Semitic" tweets prompted it.

      IF Milo has lied about his date and place of birth (why?) and his education, it raises serious questions about his integrity that feed in to all the questions about his business activities that the Guardian has raised repeatedly. There are certainly huge inconsistencies in his story being provided here.

      I don't know why the Catholic Herald removed all trace of him from their website, but I could well imagine why they (or indeed his friend, the Tory MP Conor Burns) would want to be associated with someone who wears the Iron Cross as a fashion accessory, and about whom all these question marks remain.

      This piece is far from intended to be a stitch up, but as ever, there comes a point when if someone has behaved badly it comes back firmly to bite them on the arse.

  34. I saw the Flickr account before it was deleted. It was an exercise in Narcissism, but it certainly had a following; some photos had been viewed hundreds of times. Curiously, the profile page linked to a now-dormant website, Older versions of that website can still be seen on the Internet Archive. The most interesting page is this one, from August 2006: in which viewers are invited to "Find out who Milo Andreas Wagner is", to "Give him some money towards the cause", and to "Join EGO, the official Milo Andreas Wagner fanclub." Why, it's almost as if he was trading on his looks.

  35. Here Milo claims he is Cambridge educated and his upbringing as "middle middle-class – horses, two cars and a pool"

    Did he actually attend Cambridge at all? Elsewhere he claims to have studied in Manchester, but there's also a record of him living in Leicester with his friend Osman Ali (the director of Valhalla Medics Ltd) in 2005: the time he would have been an undergraduate:

    He states that he lived for three years in the top bedroom of his grandmother's house in Kent ("Chief among the topics of conversation when she was mentioned at garden parties was her modest house in east Kent, which was decked out with lavish tapestries, lace, marble, Parian ware figurines and lush fabrics")

    A 192/ street view property search shows an extremely modest property in Chatham. Likewise, his father Nicolas Hanrahan, still lives a few miles away in Gillingham in another working class house. I heard he's actually a doorman.

    There's no shame in any of that, but the questions keep rolling in. Is he a serial liar and fantasist? Is his father's twitter account @nichanrahan (recently used to back up Milo's story to Guardian journalist Charles Arthur) a sock puppet account controlled by Milo?

    I understand he was thinking about going into business with the convicted fraudster Matthew Brown who you exposed, Peter. Time to do some more digging?

    1. Nicolas Hanrahan is a doorman i nothing wrong with that, and here is an interview (same pic) though one who runs a business.

      The interview with Nicolas Hanrahan is revealing and worth reading - the father is clearly a cautious man when it comes to any legal liablity, as his SIA registration would be at risk. He does not seem the man who on a public Twitter account would make repeated serious physical threats against a Guardian journalist: - or if he did by accident, would leave the tweets there undeleted.

      All credit to @NicHanrahan - for someone who had only ever tweeted once before (and according to Milo did not understand how DMs worked), he fast learned in minutes how to use and tweet from Tweet Button (second to fourth tweet) and to switch then to a web-based twitter App.

      Anyway, @NicHanrahan did provide a convenient explanation for how Milo could claim (as he volunteered in December) that he financed his company from money left to him when probate has not been completed.

    2. Milo did student jounalism at Cambridge, so he must have attended even if he did not graduate:

    3. he definitely went to cambridge for a short time. not the undergraduate period that he refers to in some of those links but he was there a few years ago and did not complete his course. a graduate course at a graduate college. sure that the college will confirm they received authentic confirmation of his graduate status enabling his admission. there are some nasty allegations here and i imagine the college will be happy to clear up quite quickly the circumstances of his admission becuase it wouldn't look so good for them if they had admitted a student under false pretenses and they would be wanting to be whiter than whtie


    5. Here he is, recorded as having matriculated very recently: in 2009. His wikipedia entry states that he did not graduate from either Manchester or Cambridge Universities: this would tally as he would have graduated in June 2012 from a standard 3 year English Tripos course. It is clear he was busy with his Kernel activities before then. He must therefore have dropped out (or been sent down) from Cambridge some time ago.

      Wolfson is predominantly a graduate college, but they do have a small number of mature undergraduate students. It is, with respect, hardly a top ranking Cambridge college (Tompkins average 26.1 2003-2012, which places it in the bottom 4 out of all the 29 undergraduate colleges). He read English, not Philosophy at Wolfson.

      There is no reason to believe that Milo attended under false pretenses and every reason to believe he was at Wolfson for a period. As a Cambridge graduate myself, to describe himself as "Cambridge educated" is, however, pushing it in my view, and borders on misrepresentation.

      Thank you all for the comments: this is extremely enlightening for people interested in the truth behind and getting to the bottom of Milo's various claims.

  36. One of the great examples I've seen illustrating the value of anonymity. Without abuse, swearing or ignorant opinion the facts are being pieced together. Milo sees this as very unfair. He is brave enough to post under his own name regardless of the consequences. All these other people want be anonymous? So cowardly This is why he writes articles about why everyone should have to be identified. He's right in that it has been unfair just not in the way he sees it. When you are abused by someone in an unusual position of not giving a thought to their own future, someone who has a view of themselves so weird that they just don't care what happens then yes that is unfair. The reaction of keeping clear in public isn't cowardice however. The famous quote about wrestling with a pig..the pig loves it. It's sensible as long as the environment allows him to get away with it. As long as he has a platform / column / a speaker slot / a conference pass. While he still has some means of funding his activities, noting the comment above wherever this money is coming from. But when that all cracks as another comment says above we see the deluge.

    What is appearing here is karma in action. This comment list is for everyone who heard about a coming revelation about a failing business and worried all week it would be them. For everyone who shagged a colleague and waited until friday with heavy heart. This is for everyone who hoped for interesting alternative journalism and read the hype of the next big story which always turned out as lots of unattributed innuendo. Those on the receiving end of actionable statements about there professional and personal integrity. Those who saw friends crying because of the personal attacks coming to them from you on twitter and in your articles. Those who paid for what they didn't receive. For those who worked and weren't paid. Dfor the publishers who were duped by a real talent with words into trading their principles and gut feeling for a few clicks. It is also for you Milo. You've poured hatred and poison into a community for years. Now reaping what you sewed. Your'e out of options now. Your big Oh forgive me this is the humblst day of my life I will now retrain and come back a changed man post is already written somewhere. No doubt of that. It's not going to work. Not this time.

  37. Good luck with that @HarperCollinsUK support for your latest stunt milo! They'll probably bump up the funding when they read this, all publicity is...