What is Scienter?

The term ‘scienter’ is used to describe the calculus, awareness, and intent of a person who undertakes manipulation of another person (or targeted group) into a fraudulent loss.

Hell does not depend upon demons in order to function. Rather, it only requires a population of otherwise virtuous and detached human agency, a critical mass of whom merely seek their just and regular pound of flesh.

This last week, my son ventured into an Apple Store to have his older iPhone outfitted with a new battery. The Apple Genius glanced disdainfully (bearing zero interest in actually addressing the customer’s need) at the old model phone and said “Your service (Verizon) is offering a special deal right now, where you can trade in your old phone and upgrade to the new iPhone 15 for just $120, with no increase to your parent’s monthly phone plan charges.”

My son responded in the affirmative, at which point the Apple Genius put him on the phone with a Verizon representative who confirmed the offer. “That’s right Gray Jr., I can ship you a new iPhone 15 for just $120 and there will be no increase to your parent’s monthly phone plan charges.” My son elected to take the option of gaining a new iPhone 15 for $120, over a $90 battery replacement in his old iPhone.

Please note that flim flam artists do not actually look like the person shown to the upper right. Instead, they tend to look the part of upstanding citizen, adorned in current fad clothing, and even having attended the finest universities. Stripped of their humanity by academic mentors, now owing their very souls to job-offshoring, pluralistic ignorance, world economic citizens, earnings-extraction, and the virtue signaling of their paper-trading Party masters.

Later that day, I received an email from Verizon, thanking me for my iPhone 15 order and welcoming me to the ‘Exciting new 5G Start 1.0 Verizon Plan’. The fact that they addressed a no-change-in-service evolution as ‘exciting’, meant I was absolutely sure I could surmise just to whom this new plan would prove to be exciting. So I logged in to my billing account with Verizon, only to find that sure enough, my monthly charges had been increased by $63 per month – not temporarily, as if terms of a new hardware charge mind you, but through billing every single person on the plan $12.62 more per month, in perpetuity. No change in actual service was entailed.

Accordingly, I called Verizon to get this ‘fantastic deal’ reversed. My petition fell upon deaf ears however, because as the agent informed me, my old plan ‘no longer exists’ and I could not be placed back onto it. The $63 more-per-month plan was the right plan for me now. Of course she would be glad to see if she could ‘reduce our services’ in order to obtain a lower monthly cost. Things like placing all household members on a data limit (what amounted to maybe five or six YouTube videos, and billing obscene amounts per gigabyte once over that limit – nothing but an even larger and more surprising price increase in reality).


As minor as this type of expense-in-perpetuity might seem, the ten-year opportunity cost Net Future Value of this flim flam, inside my financial and retirement modeling, turned out to constitute a (NFV10 =) $14,860 loss. That’s one hell of an expensive iPhone. No wonder it was ‘exciting’. Now multiply this number by millions of low-income and poor retiring citizens impacted by this same dollar figure, and you gain a sense of the level of misery imparted by such schemes. A few World Economic Forum Cronies with Greek islands villas, golden parachutes,1 new yachts, and a few subservient vice presidents with new cars – versus tens of millions struggling and broke in their convalescent years. All of course in the name of ‘inclusion’ (aka ‘power reach’).

If I take this Plan Settlement Value ($14,900 above), wrap 10,000 of these plan executions inside a bond, and insure that bond-value with a Lloyd’s of London policy – I can then leverage this settlement value 30 to 1 in a German or Swiss bank trading account. That is a $4.5 billion leverage-flow to my crony sponsors. This is my duty as CEO – my fealty being part of the reason they appointed me to begin with.

As one can see, inflation is not a serendipitous ‘rise in prices’, but rather the rising cost of tyranny and burden of centralized economic domination. A principle I now cite as WEFlation.

The irony resides in this: the cost increase we undertook above will not even be recorded as economic inflation, since I ‘opted for a new product and better plan’ (not a trick I would let my clients get away with – identifying it as ‘horizontal inflation’). This too, is scienter.

Nonetheless, this is how suffering is formed at its inception – through a process called ‘crony extraction’. The company did not need this revenue boost in order to be fiscally healthy, rather it needed to pay its syndicate handlers their exorbitant cut. This is the tithe they believe that we owe them, as our protectors and Gods (gods who failed us miserably when we needed them most).

Hell does not depend upon demons in order to function. Rather, it only requires a population of otherwise virtuous and detached human agency, a critical mass of whom merely seek their just and regular pound of flesh.

Nice. The irony resides in this: the executives who crafted this complex and cross-company hustle, along with the sales people who executed it, probably regard them selves to be model citizens. If the customer is confused and makes the wrong choice, that’s not my fault. I was not aware that this program was actually harming most of the customer base. I did not bother to look at the program or its impact, but hey I was just following the instructions. After all, I have to make a living.

My family had been misled by both Apple and Verizon through an incentivized (I am sure a sourcing-fee commission was involved) appeal to ignorance hornswoggle. Both companies had lied to my son in order to enrich their cronies. No, this money in no way returned to the common citizen in the form of ‘jobs’ or tax revenues. This was a wealth-scam executed inside the fog of a theater called ‘scienter’.

What is Scienter?

While the relatively minor scenario above does not constitute scienter in a legal sense, let’s start by examining that definition as our reference point. The legal definition and precedent regarding ‘scienter’ is as follows:2

  1. The mental state of one who intends to deceive or defraud another person.
  2. The term ‘scienter’ is used to describe the calculus, awareness, and intent of a person who undertakes manipulation of another person (or targeted group) into a fraudulent loss. An act is performed ‘knowingly’ if it is done voluntarily and deliberately. The accused cannot be proven to have ‘guilty knowledge’ of the results of his actions if those results were from a mistake or accident (unless Nelsonian/Constructive in origin). The accused must have been in such a mindset as to have set out with the intention to defraud or deceive the other party.

While I have been a successful legal plaintiff, seeking restitution from a party which stole money from my family ‘with scienter’, and am aware of many of the key litmus in establishing such complaint; in general, I identify three species of scienter as the term applies to social conduct and ethics:

Actual Scienter – knowingly and intentionally engaging in an action with full awareness of its wrongfulness.

  1. Reckless Indifference – the thief who knows they are stealing, but does so out of perceived basic need.
  2. Malice Aforethought – the abuser, who enacts harm because of hatred and/or the exhilaration they experience through harming others (to include spiritual loosh as reward) – I have known billionaire clients who reacted with abject glee, when they crafted a scheme to harm those of lesser means. We identify this personality type in The Ex Post Fact Mindset of The Predator and How to Detect a Griefer.

Constructive Scienter – by function or expertise, should have known the wrongful nature of their actions, even under a condition of Nelsonian knowledge or intent.

Imputed Actual Scienter – when the party who establishes or exploits a condition of ignorance, thereafter appeals to that ignorance (to include syndicated consensus, confusion, or reliance upon a partial truth) as justification for a wrongful action founded upon that appeal.

Scienter of Chaos and The Crowd

Most embezzlers, academics, fake skeptics, degree-holding, executive, and other high-intelligence persons, will exploit this third type of scienter when plying their fraud or harm. It is this condition of scienter which interests the ethical skeptic the most. For instance, climate and vaccine science both fall under this form of legal scienter. Large scale banking fraud does as well. This species of scienter is not simply indicative of one who intends harm, but moreover of one who regards them self as not in need of future redemption – a person who has made a kind of a priori god-declaration on their part. They have ‘burned their ships’ in the Hernán Cortés sense, being 100% committed to their plan – for good or for evil. An apocryphal mythology expounds on this style of scienter in what is called the First Book of Enoch.

Thus it came to pass when the children of men began to multiply upon the Earth, that in those days daughters were born unto them who were both beautiful and sexually alluring. Eventually the Archons, those who had been expelled from the heavens, watched and lusted after them, plotting one to another: “Let us choose consorts from among the children of men, who will beget us children in their stead.”

But Semjaza, the one who was their leader, said unto them: “I fear many of you will be disinclined to agree in advance to do this wrongful deed, and I alone shall bear the burden of having to pay the penalty for this grievous sin.”

So they all reassured Semjaza of their allegiance and proclaimed: “Let us all swear an oath aforethought, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan, but to do this thing.”

Therefore, swore they all together, bound by mutual imprecations upon the deed to be undertaken. In all there were two hundred of those who descended upon the summit of Mount Hermon in the days of Jared. They called it Mount Hermon because they had sworn and bound themselves upon it, by these very mutual imprecations.

~ Enoch I, Chapter 3 – (The Scienter of) The Fallen Ones

Inside this myth, a type of syndicated scienter is framed, a species of scienter for which the entailed potential suffering is enormous – the ‘guilty’ typically being many in number and collective in nature (an aspect of its exculpatory allure). There exists a key signature note of the soul inside this particular style of scienter. One much darker than that of the mere thief.

The thief acts alone and in the shadows, but the sycophant boldly defends his swindle by crowd’s decree.

Just as in the instance of the mobile phone hardware and services executives in my mild case-example above (pale in comparison to medical and pharmaceutical industry fraud), the intelligent person holds that, if they can establish enough of a cloud of confusion, ignorance, virtuous cause, or large enough numbers of persons involved, then they cannot be held liable or accountable by any party for the harm done in the name of that appeal to ignorance/confusion/partial truth. Surely they can’t come after all of us in this confusing fray, can they? Surely I cannot blame myself for simply following what everyone else was doing?

Much of harm and oppression executed in the name of science is conducted under just such a cloud of plausible deniability and exculpability. The ‘courage’ of the sycophant and the ‘wisdom’ of the crowd inevitably ferment into a toxic elixir of human suffering. The Covid pandemic merely served to expose such charlatans for who they really were.

The Ethical Skeptic, “What is Scienter?”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 16 Sep 2023; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=75655

Of Authenticity

A person who acts with integrity will also necessarily be authentic.

The authentic person’s lack of conformance to social norms may be abused by persons of lower integrity, as an ad hominem appeal inside an insincere argument or narrative.

I have a friend who painstakingly rebuilt a vintage 1950s Porsche from scratch. He is a meticulous engineer and a Duke University alumnus, dedicating over twelve years to reconstructing the vehicle in his home garage. During a visit I made years ago, he described to me the careful sourcing of each part, fabric, snap, rivet, and bolt from reputable and authorized vintage Porsche parts suppliers. In some cases, he even had to obtain specially manufactured and certified components from Porsche in Germany. His intention was not merely to acquire a rare and expensive vehicle, as that can be achieved through wealth and pretense. Instead, he desired to create a masterpiece through his own labor, ensuring the highest level of craftsmanship throughout.

There is a Zen-like quality to the unfolding of such mysteries. As he labored on the vehicle over the span of a decade, the car shaped his character in return. Both he and the vehicle exude authenticity.

The term integrity is derived from the same Latin root as the term integer, meaning ‘a whole number’. The term is actually a portmanteau of two Latin terms: in, meaning ‘not’, and tangere, meaning ‘touch/handle’. Placed into a more modern vernacular, this root meaning bears the context of an entity which is untouched, unmanipulated, or whole.1 The fundamental state of being unaltered or untouched is central to one’s inner strength and uniqueness at a spiritual level. It involves being “at one with or truly representing one’s self” in most all of life’s endeavors.2

As opposed to the human foibles of carrying water for an agency or succumbing to a known bias or social norm, integrity involves a series of behavioral habits which serve to compose authenticity. Put simply,

A person who acts with integrity will also necessarily be authentic.

The authentic person’s lack of conformance to social norms may be abused by persons of lower integrity, as an ad hominem appeal inside an insincere argument or narrative.

Plato, in his work “The Republic,” employs an allegorical dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon to present philosophical ideas regarding authenticity. One of the main topics discussed is the role of poetry and the ethical implications of imitation. Socrates raises a crucial question about the value and purpose of imitative poets who aim for popularity, suggesting that their intention is not to engage the rational aspect of the soul, but rather to appeal to the emotions and behaviors which are both most easily imitated, as well as being imitation themselves. An anachronistic form of pop music if you will.3

Then the imitative poet who aims at being popular is not by nature made, nor is his art intended, to please or to affect [stir] the rational principle in the soul; but he will prefer [instead] the passionate and fitful temper which is easily imitated.

~ Plato’s Republic : Socrates and Glaucon Dialogue

Through this allegory, Plato aims to define the characteristics of individuals who choose imitation as their form of life expression, as opposed to genuine life-artists who prioritize stimulating a key essence of the soul. Plato argues that the tendencies of those who seek public approval by adopting passionate and erratic behavior [pop fashion] are merely superficial and imitative. These tendencies can be seen as a form of virtue signaling or social pretense of Plato’s day, wherein individuals adorn themselves with familiar and stylistic conformance to appearances in anticipation of receiving public praise and recognition.

Such individuals can be identified by their strong inclination to impose academic clique-like imitative virtues on others, as they desperately strive for conformity within their social circle and all of humanity.

Moreover and in contrast, Plato continues his dialogue with Glaucon through alluding to several distinct qualities that stand out as manifestations of an authentic individual. Those qualities, as well as several I have learned throughout life, are outlined below.

The Feature Characteristics of An Authentic Person

  • May sometimes fail to regard social conformance norms as highest priority
  • If asked, will courteously let you know what they think (even if they perceive you are not going to like the answer)
  • While enjoyable as an aspect of human interaction, they do not necessarily seek or need your approval
  • Annoying or charming, their public, club, and private selves are all essentially one in the same
  • May appear relatively unskilled at de rigueur humility and cultural pretense
  • They generally choose to innovate, not imitate – however may choose to imitate when leveraging a familiar concept inside a new domain of context
  • They are not only able to self-govern well, but they find fulfillment in it
  • When left to their own devices and without guidance, will innately express their true calling
  • They rarely explain or complain, choosing instead to describe
  • They describe harmful conduct inside a schema of spiritual ethics, in preference over cultural norms
  • Unless they ask, they don’t need anything from you
  • Their ‘yes’ means yes, their ‘no’ means no, and their ‘maybe’ means maybe
  • Is not afraid to say “I don’t know” or “I am not qualified to answer that”
  • Often will maintain a perceptive knowledge of self, risk, and value
  • Innately grasps that the creator is much more valuable than the critic
  • They are cautious when sensing agency or cynicism in others – are ‘cult-proof’
  • They are not afraid to fail or be perceived (even widely) as ‘wrong’
  • They are innately curious – not afraid to consider or investigate the possibilities
  • Will often be tolerant of uncertainty, asymmetry, complexity, and novelty
  • Maintain awareness of their own bias, and will offer it up, often without prompting
  • Unless value, risk, or love demands it, will innately eschew the desire to control others
  • Is the same person whether or not money is on the table
  • Often will love reflexively (love others as an outflow of loving themself)
  • They may often perceive the critical nature of seemingly small things
  • Will innately eschew time-wasting or insincere academics, activities, thoughts, or discussions
  • Will apologize and stand accountable for harms conducted
  • They do not hold enemies, seek revenge, or deliver justice – but are often despised by the inauthentic who value these very things
  • Will typically not possess the instinctual habit of seeking to please everyone
  • Wealth does not serve to change them, nor change how they choose to treat others
  • They are often innately compassionate and merciful

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, partly through the work of University of Alabama philosopher Linda A. Bell, outlines authenticity in the following existential manner.4

What is suggested here is that a correlate of authenticity can be found in the idea of being true to the inescapable tension at the core of the human self. This would be attained if one clear-sightedly acknowledged the fundamental ambiguity of the human condition. Authenticity would then be what Sartre calls a “self-recovery of being which was previously corrupted [lost]”.

Authenticity would be “the awareness and acceptance of this basic ambiguity of situation, in assuming the responsibilities and risks it involves, [and] in accepting it … sometimes in horror and hate.”

Perhaps, one of my favorite music artists, Kansas, put this astutely in their masterpiece work, The Wall.5

I’m woven in a fantasy, I can’t believe the things I see
The path that I have chosen now has led me to a wall
And with each passing day I feel a little more like something dear was lost
It rises now before me, a dark and silent barrier between
All I am and all that I would ever want to be
It’s just a travesty, towering, marking off the boundaries
My spirit would erase

To pass beyond is what I seek, I fear that I may be too weak
For those are few who’ve seen it through to glimpse the other side
The promised land is waiting like a maiden that is soon to be a bride
The moment is a masterpiece, the weight of indecision’s in the air
Standing there, the symbol and the sum of all that’s me
It’s just a travesty, towering, blocking out the light and blinding me
I want to see

Gold and diamonds cast a spell, it’s not for me, I know it well
The riches that I seek are waiting on the other side
There’s more that I can measure in the treasure of the love that I can find
And though it’s always been with me
I must tear down the wall and let it be
All I am, and all that I was ever meant to be, in harmony
Shining true and smiling back at all who wait to cross
There is no loss

Indeed, it is this principle of the recapture of something dear which was lost, which resides at the heart of integrity. Just as in the case of my friend who rebuilt a fine car from scratch, the process is one of a reassembly into the original or untouched integral whole. An achievement of authenticity does not rely in any way upon correctness, membership, nor cultural imitation or normative, as such irony would not go unnoticed by even those fuming in the darkest corners of irrationality.

Salvation as it turns out, is not metered by one’s compliance nor fanaticism.

Those who possess the wisdom and fortitude required to rediscover this, also demonstrate the genuine humility to recognize that every person they encounter carries a similar burden. As a result, they show compassion and mercy as an innate aspect of their person.

It is however, this very present nature of innateness which qualifies individuals as being trustworthy – an authentic component to be assembled into the fine machinery of even grander realms of import and Light.

The Ethical Skeptic, “Of Authenticity”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 9 Jul 2023; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=74647

The Six Types of Valid Anecdote

The plural of anecdote is data. An anecdote to ignorance or absence is not.

Many of us are familiar with the misquote attributed to Wolfinger, stating that “The plural of anecdote is not data.” However, this commonly repeated trope of social skepticism is actually incorrect. In reality, there are certain types of anecdotes that can be considered as data, information, or even intelligence.1 There are six circumstances in which a single anecdote holds valid inferential significance – yes, even if it involves personal testimony. It is important to recognize that skeptics who dismiss all forms of anecdotal evidence, except for one particular invalid application cited in strikethrough below, are using a deceptive tactic. This deceptive tactic is akin to a magician’s trick – the anecdotal appeal to ignorance or absence.2

Six Types of Valid Anecdote (and Two Invalid but Popular Types)

1. White Crow

In a laboratory, it is assumed that a specific material state is either non-existent or unachievable. Instead of accepting this null hypothesis, the laboratory engages in a seemingly impractical process of systematically testing every possible combination of experimental conditions in order to bring about this desired material state. After six weeks of exhaustive testing, they finally discover a particular set of control conditions that successfully produces the sought-after material state. As a result, the null hypothesis has been proven false.

2. Negation of a Claim to Scarcity

A wildlife team receives information suggesting that the population of a specific horse breed in a particular island nation is extremely scarce. Tasked with the job of assessing that horse population, they embark on an expedition with the intention of counting these horses. Surprisingly, within mere minutes of commencing their first random sampling run, they come across the first herd of the target horse breed. One looks for a needle in a large haystack, and finds a needle upon first glance. Intelligent life on Earth.

3. When Testing Policy or Constraint

After being a loyal customer for ten years with no claims, your insurance company unexpectedly raises the rates on your homeowner’s insurance by a significant 20+% for the third consecutive year. Perplexed by this substantial rate increase, you decide to call and inquire about the reason behind it. During the conversation, the agent attributes the steep rise in costs to “roof replacement fraud” plaguing the insurance industry. In order to validate this claim, you request the insurer to assess the extensive hail damage affecting your aging roof. Following their longstanding policy, the insurer sends their own evaluation team to examine your roof. Their evaluation results in a credit of $1,600 for the hail damage, which falls below your deductible. As a result, you are left with the burden of covering the entire cost of the roof replacement, amounting to $16,000. It becomes evident that the insurer has misrepresented the reasons for their cost increases, as their policy prevents them from assuming such liabilities.

4. Small Relevant Domain

You observe a person drinking in a bar, and make the claim that you are more likely to find a buzzed or drunk person in a bar, as compared to other public venues.

5. Case Study During Discovery/Profiling

A person suffering long-term infection by Epstein-Barr virus is found to have Hodgkin’s lymphoma later in life. The diagnosing physician suspects a connection, and wishes to document it in a case study. A suspect in a robbery has his background checked, whereupon his criminal history is found to contain two convictions for petty theft.

6. As a Datum to the Presence (the plural of which is data)

Personal testimony that a popular brand of dimmable light switches installed in a house caught fire through overheating. Your new phone suffers a hardware malfunction right after you purchase it. You observe a thylacine crossing your farmyard to chase after your barn cat.

7. As a Datum to the Absence (anecdotal appeal to ignorance)

Your friend’s house with dimmable light switches installed did not burn down. Your grandfather lived to age 92 after smoking his entire life. You had the Covid vaccine and are fine.

8. As a Data Set to the Absence (utile absentia – appeal to failure in detection/collection)

You conduct a study on house fires, in order to see if houses with dimmable light switches suffer a higher proportion of fires. However, newer house fire incidents have yet to be entered in many district fire department databases. As well, newer houses tend to have a greater number of dimmable light switches installed. Amazingly, houses with dimmable light switches are found to rarely have fire incidents. Most house fires collected into your database therefore occur in houses with conventional flip switches. Your report concludes that dimmable light switches do not cause more house fires as compared to conventional ones. Moreover, although not acknowledged inside your conclusions, the data shows that dimmable light switches actually prevent all unrelated forms of house fire as well (inversion effect indicative of a utile absentia exclusion error).

Be cautious of individuals who clumsily twist Wolfinger’s misquote or assert that your personal experience holds no value as “evidence.” They might be spreading misleading philosophy. If they habitually commit appeal to absence errors, numbers 7 and 8 above in particular, it is certainly wise to avoid seeking their advice regarding skepticism or science.

The Ethical Skeptic, “The Six Valid Types of Anecdote”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 24 Jun 2023; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=73999