by Richard L. Thornton, Architect and City Planner
It all began three weeks ago. A concerned subscriber to this website telephoned me with a warning. He and several members of his archaeological society had heard a Georgia archaeologist threaten my life. (I started chuckling at that one!) At a meeting, someone had mentioned Track Rock Gap, but not my name. The archaeologist, who was formerly employed by the US Forest Service, turned red-faced and started raging about me, using my name, constantly mixed with profanity. Among other things he said, “We soon will drive a dagger into his heart so no one will every be able to read anything he writes again. ”
I jokingly responded to the concerned citizen, “The only way that any Georgia archaeologist could do that was drug me then tie me down to one of their altars to Satan.” LOL.
I had a meeting with the Feds in Gainesville, GA this past Tuesday about some more serious crimes . . . (like a September 2021 murder attempt on me in my home, as I was being interviewed live on a national radio talk show) . . . done to me and the potential for an insurrection in NE Georgia. (In a 2021 poll, 78% of registered Republicans in the Ninth Congressional District supported the attack on the National Capitol.) I mentioned the threat from the archaeologist to them, but didn’t take it seriously. Apparently, the archaeologist used the word “dagger” figuratively. What he really meant (I hope) was blocking me from publishing articles on the web.
The action above was apparently done by people, living outside the United States. Both the “tagging” and the permanent deletion of my user name was done during the wee hours of the night, while most people in North America would have been asleep. The initial notice said that I had the right to appeal, but I was already permanently banished by the time I turned on my computer at 6 :30 AM. The permanent deletion was done by a pseudonym of Lastily. Very few of the people, who control Wikipedia’s content, use their real names or post whatever qualifications they might have to control content. I suspect that all of these people live in England or the UK. Their arbitrator definitely does.
Almost exactly 10 years ago, someone or a group of anonymous people went through the Wikipedia county articles of Northern Georgia and deleted all references to the Creek, Chickasaw, Uchee, Highland Apalache and Shawnee Indians, plus important Creek archaeological sites such as Etowah Mounds, Kusa, the Leake Mounds and numerous large Creek towns during the Colonial Period. Only mentions of the Cherokees remained in these articles. The article on Macon-Bibb County also relabeled Ocmulgee Mounds as a “beloved Cherokee Sacred Heritage Site.” Someone in the National Park Service eventually was able to get that statement removed.
The article on the history of Georgia was changed to state that the Cherokees originally occupied all of Georgia down to Savannah. Only trouble is that you can look at maps and see that until 1785, even Track Rock Gap was within Creek Confederacy lands. The false history being created in Wikipedia was mind-boggling.
Even in 2022, these North Georgia county history articles remained altered, despite many efforts by several people, including me, to reinsert the actually history of these counties. If you don’t believe me, read the Bartow County, GA Wikipedia article. Its history section begins with the Cherokees, who did not arrive in that county until 1795 and were gone by 1832.
I can’t provide details of the efforts by others, but vividly remember what happened, when I tried to correct the Bartow County article. As some of you know, many of my best known architecture projects are in Bartow County. I was a friend of the Director of the Cartersville-Bartow Convention and Visitors Bureau. She wrote the original Wikipedia Bartow County article in 2002. She was livid when I showed her what had been done to her article. She gave me the three missing paragraphs to reinsert . . . assuming that a Creek architect would have more credibility with Wikipedia than a former high school history teacher. Wrong!
The verbatim insertion of what was there before, was deleted within two hours by someone named Doug Weller. Back then you could contact someone, who deleted your Wikipedia text directly. He claimed to be an archaeologist from Yale University, who now was a professor at the University of London . . . but I quickly realized that he knew nothing about Native Americans and less than nothing about Etowah Mounds. I challenged his qualifications in that he had approved deletion of three paragraphs about Etowah Mounds and the Creeks Indians then refused to allow them to be reinserted. He threatened to have me permanently banned from Wikipedia. Ten years later, he has succeeded . . . but claims to not remember our original confrontation.
Immediately below is his response to my complaint to Wikipedia. It is entitled “Lies, damn lies and legal threats.” Wikipedia had posted paragraphs, which the author claimed I had published while National Architecture Columnist for the Examiner, which I never wrote. They followed that fake paragraph with crude statements about me supposedly made on Facebook – presented as factual evidence of my professional skills. Those sorts of things constitute professional liable in civil court cases.
Who is Doug Weller?
Ten years ago, one could find information much easier on the internet. Now paid commercial advertising in the form of articles choke the web. As for my credentials . . . In 2006, the Muscogee-Creek Nation paid me to do fulltime research on the Etowah River Valley for six months. This included me hiking or canoeing the 160 mile length of the river. Also, remember, 11 years ago I took the CIA aptitude test and scored so high that they wanted me to start work in Langley, VA the next day.
As you can see above, Weller denies our initial confrontational contacts. However, for this I am certain. I immediately called Scott Wolter of America Unearthed to see if he knew anything about Weller. Yes! Weller had deleted his insertion on the Wikipedia Track Rock Gap article, which described the discovery by University of Minnesota scientists that minerals from Georgia were used in the construction of buildings and murals at the Maya city of Palenque. His insertion included my computer model of Track Rock Gap. Weller had noted that anything from “that nut” Richard Thornton would not be accepted by Wikipedia. Scott said that Weller lived somewhere in England. That info enabled me to zero in on Weller’s credentials.
Doug Weller was born in Miami, FL, but had no record of ever being employed anywhere. He had lived for many years in England and now living in Derbyshire. What I soon discovered was the Douglas Weller did NOT graduate from Yale in Anthropology as he then claimed, but took some freshman courses there. He has no degree from Yale. He claimed to hold a Masters degree from the University of London and be a professor there, but I could not find any record of him getting a bachelor’s degree anywhere – which one must have before getting a masters degree. He was never a full professor at the University of London. He may have been a student assistant there, but no records of student assistants were accessible. Whatever the case, he was not qualified to control what was said or not said about Etowah Mounds National Historic Landmark in Cartersville, Georgia, USA.
Weller continued to instantly delete articles or additions sent in by me until he developed a cadre, who instantly deleted anything by me. They mainly involved corrections of mistranslated or misspelled Creek and Maya words. I always used a published dictionary as my source. The administrators always used “unacceptable source” as the reason for deletion.
The last straw was in 2015. Several articles in Wikipedia state that the original copy of the Creek Migration Legend has never been found. I added paragraphs announcing the exciting news that with Prince Charles’ critical help, I had found the document that had been lost for 285 years. I included a photograph of the first page of the original Migration Legend as proof. They all were deleted within ten minutes to two hours . . . usually accompanied by sarcastic comments by anonymous administrators.
I have already spent far too much time this week in the Neverneverland of Wikipedia . . . for nothing. I am going to eat some lunch and then get back to productive work. I found an article on the inaccurate United States history in Wikipedia, being the result of foreigners and “fringe people” controlling its content. We will let Mr. Hopkins finish up this article.
Mathew Hopkins wrote on his article titled “Paedophiles of Wikipedia” . . . “admin Doug Weller – who is an ‘Arbitration Committee member’ of Wikipedia- “. . . should resign or be dismissed from ArbCom immediately. As for Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, he needs to immediately and permanently Block Doug Weller. One of my friends (Vito G.) thinks that Doug Weller is a “bully who believes the rules don’t apply to him and he is always right” (a problem with many admins and arbs in general on Wikipedia).“