November 18, 2004

Note to Friends

As you know I have always blogged anonymously. I originally began blogging anonymously as a way to safeguard my job and my professional reputation. On my blog I choose to let a side of myself out that I do not show my students or my colleagues. Also, I address some sensitive issues in a not so sensitive way. I knew some would take offense at the way I discuss a certain Religion of Peace, but never thought of the long-term consequences of it. In the beginning I expected no one would care about what I had to say. I was wrong.

As a result of the broadening of the audience I have received a number of death threats to me and my family. Hence, the need for me to stay anonymous has transcended my original goal. It is now a safety issue. Up until now I have not taken any of these threats that seriously. For the most part I still think that I'm pretty low on the hit list for Islamic extremists so I'm not terribly worried. But I am a little worried.

In recent days the number of people coming to this blog by doing searches for "Rusty Shackleford" has increased exponentially. I suppose that most of these searches have nothing to do with those death threats. But for safety's sake I must act as if it were otherwise.

Many of you, my friends I have made through this blog, know my real identity. Some of you I told. Others figured it out on your own. I'm sure none of you will go blabbing this information and would never intentionally let the cat out of the bag. Friends just don't do that. But friends do sometimes let information out on accident. Sometimes they do not see the harm in telling someone else, perhaps to someone who has no connection to the blogosphere.

I guess what I'm asking, no begging, from all the people that know me is to please not pass along that information. PLEASE.

Again, I am not in a state of paranoia yet. I sleep well at night. I don't suspect that I am being stalked. However, as a Boy Scout I was taught to be prepared. Muslim extremists have killed those that have criticized their religion in the past, therefore it is not outside the realm of possibilities that they would do so again. It's a one-in-a-million chance that any one would actually act on those threats. But was it Harry or Lloyd who said, "One-in-a-million. So you're saying there's still a chance?"

I appreciate your cooperation.

One final thought for my fellow bloggers. There was a time when I left comments at many blogs. I am no longer able to do that. Rest assured, I do read many of your blogs on a semi-regular basis. Don't take the drastic reduction in my comments the wrong way. I just don't have as much time as I once did on top of the security concerns. Plus, most of my blog surfing is done through bloglines, which I highly recommend.

If you wish to get in touch with me or want me to plug a post just e-mail me at my g-mail account. You can find it on the left sidebar of my webpage. I can't promise I will respond to all the plug requests, but I do respond to every personal e-mail I get.

Thanks again for all of you who come by on a regular basis despite the stupid "remember personal info" problem, despite my aloofness at times, and not responding to all the comments. And a special thanks to all of you who know the real Rusty and haven't let the cat out of the bag. Thanks again.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:35 PM | Comments |