Tag Archives: Raphael Golb

Poor Bob, He’s a ‘Hurt Puppy’…. The Ongoing Quest for Sympathy of R. Golb

The New York Times reports in a long article things I here below simply excerpt-

In 2006 and 2007, when several American museums announced exhibits of the scrolls, Raphael Golb was incensed that his father’s theory had not been acknowledged in the shows. “They teach scorn for my father,” Mr. Golb said, accusing rival academics of “indoctrinating students in a culture of hatred.”  “This is a system where they suppress people by excluding them,” he added.

Sounds familiar doesn’t it.  Perhaps R.G. is a fan of Monty Python and memorized the line “‘Help, I’b being repressed… now we see the violence inherent in the system…’

One of Mr. Golb’s targets was a graduate student named Robert R. Cargill, who created a virtual tour of Qumran for the San Diego museum.  Norman Golb posted an article on the Web site of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago complaining that the film’s script ignored his theory.   Raphael Golb went further, sending pseudonymous e-mails to Mr. Cargill’s professors at U.C.L.A.  “I said this person should be compelled to answer the published criticisms of his work at his Ph.D. defense,” Raphael Golb said. Some of the e-mail messages suggested that Mr. Cargill, who describes himself as agnostic, was a fundamentalist Christian and an anti-Semite.


Ronald Kuby, a lawyer for Raphael Golb, last week disputed Mr. Cargill’s characterization of himself as an innocent victim, writing in an e-mail message that “he played a vile role in this case. Among other things, Cargill spend hundreds of hours obsessively tracking down ‘Charles Gadda’ because of the latter’s online criticisms, engaged in his own sock puppetry while concealing it and condemning Golb for the same thing.” Mr. Kuby added, “Cargill is probably a lot of fun to chat with, but he is more than capable of using his hurt puppy persona to manipulate the criminal justice system.”   Mr. Golb put it this way: “Cargill was stalking me.”

R.G. probably just wishes Cargill were stalking him.  Maybe he has a man crush on Bob and that’s really what this is all about.  Or puppy love.  Maybe he’s like the 5th grader who wants the boy’s attention so much she runs up to him on the playground and punches him.  Who knows what the pathology driving Golb is.  Maybe dad didn’t pay him enough attention while he was a kid.  It’s patently clear, though, that he has something going on.

With his felony conviction, Mr. Golb was disbarred; the trial also consumed most of his mother’s savings, he said. The prospect of prison shook him from his bravado.  “My real concern is if I’ll be able to handle it physically,” he said. “I don’t have a good back. I was once rushed to the hospital with neck spasms. Being in a confined environment, I don’t know how I’ll react to that. It’s possible I’ll go insane. It’s possible that I’ll be fine and just read my books and do some writing.”

And so- what he really wants- is sympathy.  Sorry- that boat has sailed.

Golb is Guilty and His Conviction Stands

As decided today.

imagesolbWe have considered and rejected defendant’s remaining arguments concerning the court’s charge. We similarly reject his claims that the statutes under which he was convicted were unconstitutionally vague or overbroad. None of these statutes was vague or overbroad on its face or as applied (see People v Shack, 86 NY2d 529, 538 [1995]; Broadrick v Oklahoma, 413 US 601, 611-616 [1973]). The People were required to prove that defendant had the specific fraudulent intent to deceive email recipients about his identity, and to obtain benefits or cause injuries as a result of the recipients’ reliance on that deception. The statutes criminalized the act of impersonation and its unlawful intent, not the content of speech falsely imputed to the victims.

The verdict was based on legally sufficient evidence and was not against the weight of the evidence, with the exception of the identity theft conviction under the first count. The theory of that count was that in the commission of identity theft in the second degree (Penal Law § 190.79[3]), defendant attempted to commit the felony of scheme to defraud in the first degree [*3](Penal Law § 190.65[1][b]). However, there was no evidence that defendant intended to defraud one or more persons of property in excess of $1,000 or that he attempted to do so (see id.). The People’s assertions in this regard rest on speculation.

Read the whole decision.  Golb is guilty.  Period.  With thanks to Doug Iverson for telling me about it.

The People v. Raphael Golb: The Complete Story

By our friend Lawrence Schiffman.  Read it here.  Vintage Prof. Schiffman- brilliant in making available the best stuff.

(I wonder how long it will take BAR to lift Larry’s notice on the document without giving their source credit….  in 3….2…..1…..)

The Saddest Aspect of the Trial of Raphael Golb…

Is that his father, whom he defended so vociferously and so hazardously and so stringently, didn’t bother to attend a single moment of the proceedings.  If my child were on trial, nothing could keep me away.  How about you?  But Raphael’s father stayed home and worked.

A Sumerian proverb may fit-

cah2-gin7 cu ab-/kar\-kar-re!
i-gi4-in-/zu\ ni2-te-a-ni lugal-a-ni-ce3!-/am3\-e-ce

He snatches things like a pig, as if for himself,
but also for his owner.

I’m no psychiatrist but it sure looks like Raphael’s tale is the tragic story, too often repeated, of a son who loves his father and just, for all his faults, wants his approval.  His interest.  His notice.  I suddenly feel strangely sorry for Raphael Golb.  I have the feeling he never would have done it if his dad had shown any interest in him…

The New York Post Report of the Verdict

In the trial of Raphael Golb-

A Manhattan jury tonight threw the good book at an Internet bully who stole identities of his dad’s scholarly rivals and waged a cyber crusade against them. The panel deliberated for less than five hours before convicting Raphael Golb, 50, on 31 of 32 counts of identity theft, criminal impersonation, forgery and harassment in targeting academic adversaries of his pop, noted Dead Sea Scrolls researcher Norman Golb.  Jurors rejected Golb’s argument that he was only exercising First Amendment rights. Defense lawyer Ron Kuby slammed the decision, saying that prosecutors had made a mockery of intellectual freedom.

It’s actually Kuby and Golb who made a mockery of intellectual freedom, and integrity!

Sentencing is set for Nov. 18.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/jury_finds_dead_sea_scammer_found_CzKmfd6L1xONHyt84iSt9K#ixzz113dZa4dl

Robert Cargill Responds to the Raphael Golb Verdict

And he does it in good Cargill-ian style.  Don’t miss a word of it.

Raphael Golb Has Been Convicted!!!!

Raphael Golb has been convicted!

A New York lawyer has been convicted of using online aliases to influence scholarly debate over the Dead Sea Scrolls. A Manhattan jury convicted Raphael Golb Thursday of 30 of 31 counts against him. Golb was acquitted on one charge of criminal impersonation.

I’m happy too!  (Though this older picture of R.G. doubtless does not at all reflect his present mood).

Hooray for the vindication of Lawrence Schiffman and Robert Cargill.

UPDATE:  Here’s a longer report on the verdict.  And here’s my ongoing coverage of the entire episode.

The Trial of Raphael Golb: The Washington Post Report

The WP reports this afternoon

Jurors in a Manhattan case are trying to decide whether a son posing online as a Judaic studies professor to avenge his father’s scholarly work was guilty of identity theft. … Assistant District Attorney John Bandler asked jurors Thursday to set aside the drama behind the case and focus on the evidence. He told them regardless of the details, impersonation is a crime. The case has exposed a world of bitter academic squabbling about the creators of ancient texts and dealt with contemporary notions of Internet privacy and online etiquette.

That last sentence sort of trivializes the issue. It isn’t mere squabbling over academic issues- it’s about pretending to be one person in order to persuade other people that the very person one pretends to be is a liar and a plagiarist. And that’s not trivial academic squabbling. Squabbling is what goes on at the SBL. This is quite different.

The End of the Trial of Raphael Golb and The Impending Verdict

A Manhattan prosecutor has asked jurors to set aside the history and drama behind a forgery case involving the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls, and focus on evidence that shows a lawyer and writer is guilty of identity theft. … Assistant District Attorney John Bandler said in closing statements Thursday the case could’ve involved anyone — two women fighting over a man or two co-workers who don’t get along. But no matter what, he said, impersonation is a crime.

Now the matter is in the hands of the jury. They will do the right thing and find him guilty.

Watch Raphael Golb’s Testimony

On the video here.  It speaks for itself.

The Raphael Golb Case- Closing Arguments

The Washington Post has them in just little more than skeletal form.

A defense attorney for a man charged with impersonating a Judaic studies professor online in a debate over the Dead Sea Scrolls has told New York City jurors his client may not have been nice but his actions weren’t criminal.

But of course they were!

Lawyer David Breitbart said Tuesday in closing statements his client posted blogs and sent e-mails to highlight his dad’s point of view and alert the academic community to plagiarism of his dad’s work into the scrolls, which contain the earliest known versions of portions of the Hebrew Bible.

If that’s the sum and substance of his closing, Golb’s doom is sealed.

UPDATE:  A far more thorough report is available here.

Raphael Golb Admits Lying to Authorities

Today at the trial of Raphael Golb, he admitted he’s a falsifier.  Or in plain terms, a liar.

A prosecutor today hammered the “deranged” Dead Sea Scrolls cyber-bully for lying to investigators about the defendant’s scheme to discredit his dad’s academic adversaries. During tedious and testy cross-examination, Manhattan lawyer Raphael Golb was forced to admit he lied throughout his 2009 video-taped interview with authorities, who were grilling him about fake e-mail addresses created to wage cyber war against rival scholars. “In my deranged state of mind, yes!” a frustrated Golb blurted out, admitting to his series of deceptive answers. Golb is accused of going over the line and using criminal means to target rivals of his dad, noted Dead Sea Scrolls scholar Norman Golb.


Assistant DA John Bandler meticulously went through statements Golb originally gave to investigators, when the son denied ever making up phony email addresses and blogs to attack his dad’s rivals. At one point, as Bandler went through dozens of fake e-mail addresses Golb had created, the defendant gave rapid-fire “yes” answers and gestured with his left hand for the prosecutor to speed it up.


“Yes, I lied over and over again during the interview, the interrogation,” an exasperated Golb admitted. Golb now takes full credit for making up all those phony emails. But defense lawyers claim he’s within his constitutional right to blow the whistle on the academic frauds.

Those hoping dad Norman Golb would testify will be disappointed to learn that the defense rested today.

The defense rested with Golb as its only witness and closing arguments are set for this afternoon.

It’s almost over and he stands convicted out of his own mouth. Now the jury need simply put its stamp of approval on his admission.

A More Complete Edition of the Testimony of Raphael Golb

Can be found in the Seattle Times (of all places).  It includes such testimonial gems as

Golb testified that he made up all the names he used in his Internet debates, even if they were names of real people who were tangentially involved. He said he wrote an e-mail under Schiffman’s name as a parody to highlight his outlandish and wrong-headed actions, including stealing from his father’s research without crediting him.

Uh huh. Right.  As if Schiffman’s position on the Scrolls is in any way similar to Golb’s!


“I never intended anybody to believe that these e-mails were sent by Larry Schiffman,” he testified.

He wrote in Schiffman’s name but never intended anyone to believe it was Schiffman writing. Sure, Raphy, sure. And I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’m willing to sell you cheap.  Besides that, since his arrest (until now) he has asserted that he never had anything to do with any of it.  But now he’s changed his story.  Unsurprisingly (since he’s faced with the absolute Mt. Everest of evidence already proving beyond any doubt that he did write falsely using Schiffman’s name).

Golb gave a heady, lengthy testimony Monday, full of philosophical ideas about access to the scrolls and which theories have been promoted in the press and in the academic community around the world. He invoked the French Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire and the early 1900s Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa as inspirations for his posts. “I used methods of satire, irony, parody and any other form of verbal rhetoric that became the type of language used by philosophers during the Enlightenment to expose the irrational arguments of their opponents,” he said.

Can anyone say ‘smoke and mirrors’ all intended to confuse and sidetrack the jury from the issue? I can’t wait till he’s cross examined. The DA is going to destroy the facade.


“My purpose was to expose the pattern of unethical conduct in the field of studies in its various forms,” he said, citing exclusion of professors, plagiarism, smearing and a lack of access. Golb said his criminal prosecution is fueled by Schiffman, who’s angry about being called a plagiarist. When questioned by defense attorney David Breitbart, Golb said he didn’t initially tell police the whole truth when they arrived to arrest him because he was scared. “I asked myself whether there was some law I had violated, and I rapidly decided no,” he said. “I had accused someone of plagiarism … these are simple matters, not criminal.” Golb’s testimony was to continue Tuesday.

Unethical? Why, Raphy, look in the mirror. That’s the face of the unethical you see; for that’s a person who pretends to be someone else (in the multiples) in order to foist off dad’s ideas. But truth, Raphy, isn’t determined by majority decision, so even if you had concocted 5 million screen names and posted support for dad under all of them, the truth of the falsity of his position would still be established. You’d think a lawyer would know that. Apparently not.

But Golb remains defiant, as the closing section of the NY Post report shows-

Asked by his lawyer, David Breitbart, if he regretted going after Schiffman, Gollb said, ”No I do not.”  ”No regret for exposing his character,” he said. Schiffman was the prosecution first witness when the trial started last week, and testified that Golb’s shenanigans with his identity left him “paralyzed” for about a month.

Of course there’s no regret- he still thinks everything he did was ok and given the chance, he’ll do it again.

Now the real fun…  when will BAR bother to notice the testimony of Golb and how will they spin it…

Today at the Trial of Raphael Golb

R. Golb

The NY Post observes

A leading Hebrew scholar today angrily lashed out at accusations he ripped off a rival’s work and deserved to be targeted by a relentless cyber bully. Lawrence Schiffman — chairman of NYU’s department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies — minced no words in defending his academic reputation against defenders of Manhattan lawyer Raphael Golb.

Nor should he have. The accusation of plagiarism is absurd and really downright damnable. It’s totally depraved and only people of little character could imagine it in warped imaginations.

Defense lawyers claim Schiffman, who prosecutors said was Golb’s top victim, is an academic fraud and needed to be called out by any means necessary. “I’ve never plagiarized Norman Golb!” an agitated Schiffman screamed in Manhattan Supreme Court. The defense spent most of its cross-examination of Schiffman, trying to hammer him for a seemingly minute error he made in citing Norman Golb‘s research.

I seriously doubt Schiffman screamed. He’s a naturally vivacious speaker. Or, as we say down here in the South, he’s got an outdoor voice. That’s not screaming.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman continually chastised the defense for this line of questioning and repeatedly called it “irrelevant.”

That’s the way the defense works- smoke and mirrors and misdirection. Typical.

“I made one error, if you call it plagiarism … forget it, no chance!” Schiffman yelled.

Again, I doubt he yelled. He’s just blessed with a booming voice (for which God bless him!).  You can hear him in a lecture hall without a microphone as we who have been fortunate enough to hear him personally know quite well.

Stay tuned- you won’t read any of this over on BAR.  They’re not really interested.

Will BAR Cover the Entire Trial or Will it Just Mention Schiffman’s Appearance?

Dead Sea Scrolls

BAR’s finally gotten around to (barely) mentioning the trial of Raphael Golb (but they really sort of had to, didn’t they).  One wonders if they will cover the whole thing or if they will only mention Schiffman’s appearance.  As it is, they merely link to news reports.  Which in itself is relatively surprising, since there are usually lengthy articles in BAR anytime anything about the Scrolls hits the larger media.

BAR has been strangely subdued about the whole affair.  As important as the issue of proper scholarly deportment is in relation to Scrolls scholarship especially.

First Golb Claimed He Had Nothing to Do With It: The Trial’s Early Revelations

Now he’s claiming that he’s a whistleblower…  exposing the ‘plagiarism’ of Lawrence Schiffman!  What absurdity, my friends, what foolhardiness.

A Manhattan lawyer accused of impersonating a prominent Dead Sea Scrolls scholar went on the offensive Tuesday – claiming at his trial that his alleged victim was a plagiarist. Real estate lawyer Raphael Golb, 51, faces up to four years in prison for a wacky 2008 Internet campaign aimed at getting NYU Prof. Lawrence Schiffman fired. He accused the prof of copying the work of his father, who also is an expert on the 2,000-year-old text. “Raphael Golb … is a whistleblower,” his lawyer David Breitbart told jurors, explaining what drove his client’s anger toward Schiffman.

No, R. Golb is no whistleblower, he’s a sychophant who wanted his dad’s theories to receive widespread acceptance and so went about pretending to be a number of people pushing daddy’s ideas. He’s no hero exposing the wrong of others, he’s a deceiver and pretender and falsifier. If the jury falls for the defense’s argument it really is blind and foolish and knows nothing about what Golb has been doing for years.

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