Paleoglot by Glen Gordon, about his Proto-Indo-European and “Proto-Aegean” (or “Proto-Tyrrhenian”) linguistic concepts: The conspiracy of “dogmatic relativism” in Language Hat too

It is well known that Google is used by many when they are too lazy to type in “.com”. That’s the only reason I made a search this morning for “dnghu”, because I am usually more interested in knowing if Google searches with keywords like “Indo-European“, “Indogermanisch”, etc. or “European language”, “languages European Union”, etc. are giving results including I don’t think a lot of people would look for “dnghu” in Google without knowing there is a site…

And have you noticed that, using Google that way, you may sometimes end up in funny websites that criticize those you were looking for? You might even have known that that website wasn’t the one you were looking for before clicking on its link, but you entered it anyway, because you were too curious not to read critics about others… Thus, if you tried to find “Paypal”, you might have ended up surfing the not-so-independent customer reviews at “”; or, if you looked for information about president “Bush”, you might have read “”, trying to find his relationship with a chimpanzee. Apart from those obvious tricks of using the noun in the domain name to cheat search engines, there is a less obvious, but equally effective strategy to attract other website’s visitors: to write a page or a post with the appropriate title. Like the one Glen Gordon wrote in Paleoglot about Dnghu. Or like this one, about him and his blog.

Dear reader, you may have arrived here really looking for Glen Gordon’s personal theories about a supposed “Proto-Aegean” or “Proto-Tyrrhenian” language, from which – Mr. Gordon believes – Etruscan was derived. You are in the wrong place, then. Search again.

If you, on the contrary, were looking for information about Glen Gordon and his blog Paleoglot, about his weird theories and childish and aggressive personal behaviour, to have some fun reading what others have said about him – and maybe share your experience -, you’ve come to the right place.

You can see an example of Glen’s “discussions” (personal attacks would be more correct) at:

  • The discussion in a post at the Association’s English blog, later trolling elsewhere, ending up using his ‘rational’, ‘scholarly’ way of doing things, relating us to “nazis”, “kkk”, “genocide”, “Spanish Inquisition”, etc. There have been lots of criticisms of our Indo-European language revival project – including Language Hat, by the way, which shared a similar, very critic view of the possibility of reviving PIE -, but Glen Gordon of Paleoglot was the only one to see in us (the project and the whole association) a conspiracy against him personally.
  • Language Hat page on Paleoglot and Glen Gordon is an excellent example of Glen’s aggressive attitude towards criticism and his conspiranoic view of society and the WWW in particular. What starts as an innocent joke by a reader about Glen and his blog ends up in Gordon’s belief in a general conspiracy of everyone against him.
  • But better than that, Glen Gordon’s own view (reading his blog’s comments is strongly recommended…) on the discussion about him on Language Hat, and then his conspiranoic thorough “study” of the comments on Language Hat! He might not have enough time to prove his theories about his “Proto-Aegean” or “Proto-Tyrrhenian” concept among scholars, or his own views on Proto-Indo-European, but he has certainly enough time to participate in flames everywhere as the worst of trolls, to attack personally and professionally other linguists, including Sergei Starostin (and his son George), John Emerson, Stephen Dodson, and a large etc. They are all apparently too stupid and opened for discussion (AKAdogmatic relativists) for him.

If you happen to discuss with him, remember he is mentally unstable, and has a blog he uses for personal attacks, and friends (I would say “a friend”, in singular) that might help him in the flames he ignites. To describe him, Language Hat readers did a good job:

[Anonymous] Gordon talks the talk but doesn’t quite walk the walk. In fact, a good portion of this time is spent bashing academics instead of politely disagreeing with their work and offering his own. He also believes far too much in his own theories (see his Wikipedia discussion page) and pushes aside commentary or on his work except backclapping and agreement (see PhoeniX at Gordon’s blog and elsewhere). Though this is all done in a heavy academic tone, it obuscates his work as an independent researcher who does not seek review or aid from others, as is typical at many stages in actual scholarly investigation.

[Michael Farris] Gordon is an Asperger’s kind of case who can’t perceive anything beyond the surface meaning of words. He’s the kind of old school scholar who absolutely cannot back down about anything even (or especially) when he knows he’s in the wrong. Since he didn’t realize in time he was making a long pompous answer to an insiders joke not aimed at him he has to go on pretending the original comment was as serious as his rebuttal.

I’ll add my personal view. If you find him commenting about you or your work, think twice before answering him, because:

  1. If you write on his blog Paleoglot, he will investigate your IP and ISP, build up conspiranoid theories about who you might be depending on your IP or ISP geographic location and his imaginary ‘enemies’; and he will probably delete your comment if he dislikes it, because for him letting (what he deems) “meaningless speech” appear in his blog is “too relativist“. He believes in dogmas, and everyone knows dogmas cannot (and even shouldn’t) be discussed…
  2. If you discuss something with him – and you contradict his dogmatic view of the world -, he will chase you and your websites, writing in every website he finds of yours or about you or your work, and indeed in his own blog, to try to demonstrate everyone (and himself) that you are little less than the reincarnation of evil (or of dumbness, which are equal in Mr. Gordon’s “logic”), and that you must therefore be wrong. Dogmatism doesn’t allow disagreement, and someone has to be right, otherwise his own existence would be relative! As you might guess, he deems himself always right, so you must always be wrong (AKA stupid AKA evil).
  3. I’ll repeat it: he is a dogmatic guy, and likes dogmas (what he calls “truth”), also in the field of social sciences, and especially (however odd it may sound) in comparative linguistics: everyone opened enough to try to discuss his views and to change his mind is a relativist. Anyone who says Glen Gordon of Paleoglot is a dogmatic – thus unscientific – person automatically turns out to be a “dogmatic relativist“. After learning about that dangerous (but very useful for him) concept, “dogmatic relativism“, Glen abandoned those unending (and unnecessary because of its relativism) discussions held in specialized journals, and publish his ‘true’ theories in his blog: there must be no gray in life, only black or white. So, if you eventually decide to talk with him, keep a dogmatic view: it’s always an “either-with-or-against-me”-type of discussion. Don’t hesitate, and don’t let him drive you out of the linguistic question into personal attacks – about you and your work, your personal opinions, your knowledge of other languages, your political ideas… he finds every ad hominem possible OK to prove his point. After his first ad hominem or conspiranoid remark, just leave the conversation, because you’ll just obtain worse ad hominem arguments or conspiranoic theories, if not direct insults and signs of psychotic paranoia.
  4. His only will is to be read and known. He believes that, because he must always be right, people will know he must be right. Flames are ignited to show everyone his ‘truths’ about linguistics – he deems himself an “expert” or “expert-to-be” in every possible field -, to convince his ‘fans’ or else to fully destroy his ‘enemies’ (personally and professionally) – but also (and especially) to attract readers to his blog. You don’t need to delete his troll comments – something that will give him still more conspiranoic base to keep trolling and complaining elsewhere about you -; just avoid his linking again and again to his blog, to his weird theories and works, and he will sooner or later get tired of trolling, if he sees he cannot get more readers. Just ignoring him, which is enough with most trolls, won’t probably stop him from spamming your site again and again…

Join the discussion...

It is good practice to be registered and logged in to comment.
Please keep the discussion of this post on topic.
Civilized discussion. Academic tone.
For other topics, use the forums instead.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments