Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Plagiarst's Defense Strategy, Part Four of Four- I'm a Victim

"All I Did Was Steal a Silly Little Story"
(insert poem, novel, etc.)

How does a guilty plagiarist defend themself?  Well, in the "Book of Boyer," a short work I'm compiling subtitled "Conversations with a Serial Plagiarist," I discuss the four key tactics plagiarists use to try to skate prosecution.  Plagiarists, already embarassed by their own writing, lack of self-image and hygiene habits, are still more embarassed by having to use the first three tactics.  They're not comfortable with them, most likely because it appears to put them on the defense.  Only the fourth makes them feel like they can wear big-boy pants again.

First the famous Boyerism, "This is a private matter."  Yes, dear readers, the plagiarist actually tries to convince the victim that the professional way to handle the crime he or she has committed is to keep it secret so they don't get punished and so they can continue to steal from other people.

The second Boyerism is to attempt to diminish the victim, calling them names, saying they are lucky he stole from them and how dare they be so unprofessional as to question he or she.  Plagiairsts are better than their victims.  Frequently the plagiarists, lacking originality even in their defense tactics, will begin questioning their victim's sanity, sometimes calling them sociopaths, stalkers, and/or whatever other psychology terms they can steal from the web or their local library.

In the "Book of Boyer, Conversations with a Serial Plagiarist," I present the third plagiarist strategy which I call the "Attack of the Capital Letters."  After being in martial arts for over thirty years, I struggled to find a similar defense strategy in "The Book of Five Rings," by Myamoto Musashi or "The Art of War," by Sun Tzu.  The closest I can find is the use of shouting like a maniac being bitten on the ankles by a rabid pig in the lost works of a man known only as the Swordsman's Foot Washer.  I believe I have the only remaining copy of this work.  Boyer and other plagiarists seize on the concept of capitalizing entire words in their correspondence with their victims as though this will frighten the person they are writing to.  I asked the gang- banger down the street what this tactic meant, and he said, "The man can't get it on."  After my friend was cuffed and taken away, I realized I had completely forgotten to ask him what it meant when a plagiarist made excessive use of underlining.

But it is their fourth and final defense, which I explore in great detail in the "Book of Boyer, Conversations with a Serial Plagiarist," that they feel most comfortable employing.  Here it is.  Are you ready?

"I'm the Victim!"

Don't laugh.  Seriously, cut that out.  It's not funny.  Well, it is, sort of.  Too lazy to work when they can steal our stuff, claim our identities and run with the money?  Yeah, that's funny ha ha but not funny for real.  Plagiarists like to claim they are being stalked, harassed, persecuted.  They are just innocents being run down by an angry mob.  And their victims put the mob on them.  That's it.  The plagiarists are innocent and the victims are guilty.

Now you know the Fourth Defense.  Plagiarist as victim, victim as the guilty party.  Do they think we're stupid or what? 

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  1. The Fifth Defense:
    "I Am Entitled." I am better than you in all ways. All writing is mine by Divine Law. Your piece wasn't even yours in the first place, even if you think you wrote it. It was mine all along and I just never got around to putting it on paper. Clearly you channelled me, and I'm only reproducing what I could have done (better) in the first place.

  2. You've defined 99.9% of my students. Nothing they do is ever their fault.

  3. I think you said it better than I did, Jon!

  4. It's like a societal disease, isn't it JR? And they never exactly confess. "Yeah I took that GPS because I was looking for mine and I needed to remember what one looked like, you know what I mean? I was going to shine it up nice before I gave it back. 'cause I'm a nice guy."

    They just can't say "I'm guilty. I stole it. I plagiarized it." Got to shmooze past it. Like the rest of us are stupid.

  5. Too much. Denial's not just a river in Egypt.

  6. I read about someone stealing your work sometime ago from Tony's page in FB and now i read about it again in Nevine's page. How upsetting this is.. how much can we really protect ourselves when we put our writings, pictures and material out here? Do we really have adequate protection for this, Rick?


  7. Hello Silver. There are some tools I list in my post on my writer's blog (The Writer and the White Cat) called "To Catch a Plagiarist." But there are others that, if you email me, I'll send along to you. In the main, we have to act together as a community to expose these people and alert each other when they pop up under different identities. That's how Nevine found out about her plagiary and located Vesper's, too. We all owe her a big debt.

    Also, certain writer's organization like the National Writers Union ( come together to protect us against these scam publishers and unprincipled writers.

    So, email me if you can and I'll fill you in. These clowns can't win as long as we stick together!