Thursday, 13 July 2017

David Rountree: What You Need To Know.

Like a creature returning from a hibernating state, emerging from its lair blinking in the sunlight, then pulling a plug of faeces and hair from its anus for the world to examine, David Rountree has begun to emerge from his self-imposed exile from the paranormal community. Rountree was scheduled to appear as a guest on a paranormal team's radio show a few weeks ago. The appearance didn't go ahead due to a concerted effort from within the paranormal community to inform the hosts about just who and what Rountree is. I won't mention the name of the hosts, simply because they had no idea what they were getting into with Rountree, the opinion of the people I spoke to had in turn spoken to the team mentioned their shock at the magnitude of the reaction to the man.

"I've been caught lying this many times!" Not even close Dave

The aim of this post is to prevent other teams experiencing the same shock and to explain why there is such negative feeling towards this man. What I hope is clear here though is that I don't actually believe Rountree should be "no platformed." I think David shouldn't be denied a platform. But, I do believe that the hosts of shows that intend to feature Rountree have a responsibility to make their audiences aware of who he actually is and crucially who he is not. Rountree can't be allowed to talk with authority on subjects like physics and archaeology, he simply isn't qualified enough to do so, and to allow him to do this is to allow him to badly mislead your audience.  Also, hosts should be aware, based on some of his past actions, he's a pretty shitty human being

Rountree's reappearance in the paranormal field didn't exactly come as a shock to those who follow his activities. He recently began posting on his personal social media about a haunted mirror left at his abode by a girlfriend and "activity" in his attic. Not exactly a smoking gun of a return to the field right? Well, he followed these posts with a long form posting exposing a new paradigm of physics. Like much of what has gone before with Rountree, the explanation of his new theory involves a great deal of terminology used incorrectly, but coherent enough to appear legitimate to the layman.

A sample of his latest musings is below. You'll probably be unsurprised given what you are about to reed that these latest insights are plagiarised also. The original source is the wikpedia page on Materialism.


Following this Roundtree appeared at a Paranormal convention dressed as a child's drawing of an archaeologist.




This brings us to the first thing that potential Rountree hosts should know:

0. Stolen Valour.

This is the elephant in the room and the first thing anyone aiming to discuss Rountree must address. You may be very surprised that I'm not going to dwell on this given how important that is. There's a very simple reason for this: Respect.

I am not, nor will I ever be, a member of the armed forces. I have no family members or close friends in the armed forces. As such I can't fully comprehend the sacrifice that service men and women commit themselves to, especially as they are deployed to combat zones. This doesn't mean I don't consider stolen valour a disgusting and reprehensible act. Far from it. But I believe the criticism of Rountree's actions when he committed this act and falsified his service record should be delivered to you by someone who does understand.

That's why I'm directing you to the blog of No Blue Falcons, who has, alongside others worked tirelessly in exposing him in this area. In these blog postings you will see a wealth of evidence, most notably David's DD214, his Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, showing Rountree...

A. Did not serve in Vietnam as he claimed in various sources, most notably the biographies in his published works of fiction.

B. Did not earn the Bronze or Silver star, or any of the medals he both claimed and displayed in social media postings such as this one:




C. Was never certified as an officer, as also claimed.

I'm also going to reproduce No Blue Falcon's justification for pursuing and exposing Roundtree, I have my own reasons which I will lay out in my conclusion, but I concur with the sentiment expressed here:
"In regards to invasion of privacy, invasion of privacy occurs when you publicly disclose private facts not related to public concern. Because Mr. Rountree made so many public claims about his biography and his military service over the years, as well as it is published in his book currently being sold, the claims can be investigated for truth. Furthermore, he instructed the public to “google him” and he is a public figure, as he was on television and continues to do radio shows, has had articles written about him in numerous magazines, and does podcasts. The facts that are shared above about him ARE REFUTING WHAT HE PUT OUT PUBLICLY AND THEREFORE ARE DIRECTLY RELATED TO PUBLIC CONCERN."

You'll find the links to the No Blue Falcons posts in the sources section after my conclusion.
Moving on to my initial involvement with Rountree and his most commonly repeated falsehood. The one that earned him a spot on ghost hunting TV show "Ghost Stalkers".


1. Rountree isn't qualified to talk about physics.

This is the most pertinent point to the post and that future groups that aim to host Rountree must consider. This isn't because Rountree's claims of physics qualifications are an insult to people who dedicate their lives of the discipline, but it's because it is in this area where Rountree initially found fame, it's also the area that he repeatedly returns to when he feels scrutiny is off him. Case in point. Rountree's recent radio appearance was going to revolve around physics and cosmology. See below.



My involvement with Rountree came as a result of his physics claims, and one claim in particular. Rountree claimed that he was not only a PhD in quantum physics but had published a dissertation in the peer-reviewed press. In an attempt to shift focus from the exposure regarding his military service and other aspects of life, Rountree boldly claimed that the problem with his critics was they focused on him personally rather than his "work". I was determined that Rountree wouldn't have this avenue to retreat down anymore by tackling his work head on.

Rountree's main claims in physics revolve around wormholes and the detection of the same. That's what he'll probably want to discuss on your show. I can't stress strongly enough: If Rountree had discovered definitive proof of wormholes, we would be a Nobel Prize holder. Wormholes are purely theoretical at this stage. The world's foremost cosmologists are unsure if they exist, yet Rountree claims not only have discovered them but a method for their detection. The big problem is Rountree doesn't understand physics well enough to make these claims. He tells us that his "wormhole detector" operates by detecting gamma ray emissions. But, he also tells us that wormholes do not have an event horizon or the massive gravity of their cousin black holes. This means that wormholes can't have an accretion disc, a massive spinning disc of blazing hot matter that builds when material feeds into a black hole. The problem with this is that's where the gamma emissions of a black hole emerge from. Wormholes can't have gamma emissions by Rountree's own logic!

You can read my full exposure of David's self published "paper" here. The first thing of note is despite Rountree's claims, his paper was not published in a peer-reviewed journal but on Research Gate which is a "pay to play" journal that will accept any submissions that come with a cheque attached. One of the most shocking things I found regarding Rountree's "work" was not just that it was utterly nonsensical, I expected that. What shocked me, was how little of the paper was actually written by him.

Here's my comparison from a brief section of that post:

Rountree:



Wiki:


Rountree:





Wiki:



Rountree

Wiki:




Even the equations used in the paper are lifted wholesale from Wikipedia, this is clear from the font they are presented in:

Rountree:



Wiki:


Rountree:




Wiki:


So not only is Rountree's work not credible it isn't even his.

We shouldn't be surprised at how poor Rountree's grasp of physics is, so poor he's on record stating that mathematics isn't actually that important in physics. The fact is he doesn't have any qualifications in the subject. Here's what Rountree used to claim on social media regarding his physics background:


















After Roundtree's deception regarding his quantum mechanics qualification was exposed he changed "Princeton" in his education bio to a qualification in Physics from "the school of life" (below).


Consider, this is a man who is going to speak to your audiences about physics. A man who confesses the pinnacle of his education is what he's learnt from life in general? Would you let a surgeon who claims he's education in anatomy comes from the school of life? Of course not, and life teaches you a lot more about anatomy than it does about quantum mechanics.

You'll also notice Rountree lists another qualification from the "school of life" Rountree now claims to have a qualification in "archaeology". Unlike his claims with physics Rountree doesn't seem to have made checkable academic claims in this area.

This is a pattern that Roundtree repeats frequently. When he is caught in a lie, he replaces that lie with something equally grandiose but more nebulous and less specific.

2. Rountree isn't an archaeologist either.

After his exposure as a physics fraud, Rountree began appearing on paranormal shows as a "paranormal archaeologist". I consulted many people who have been following Rountree's activities for a long time and not a single one of them remembers a single occasion before Rountree claims were debunked when he mentions being an archaeologist. His claims in this area are less grandiose than the corresponding claims in physics, but they are as easy to debunk. One of the most telling signs, despite claims of attending various archaeological digs, is that Rountree has yet to publish a single image either from a dig or even from any of the various countries he claims to have visited. Not one. And as you can probably see, Dave is a selfie addict. Heck, he even publishes photos from his hospital bed, wearing a lovely... erm... alligator foot?




Let's look at some of Rountree's specific claims regarding archaeology or to be more precise, finds.


Roundtree tells us he has found a "spiritual blade" at an excavation of a temple site. He neglects to mention that this blade can also be found in a slightly less auspicious location, E-Bay.


An amazing find indeed! And a snap at $24 with free postage! This isn't a one-off either. This "9th-10th Century Viking Ring" Rountree claims to have found?


Can also be found on an auction site, or at least a similar one, Live Auctioneers (below).
























No Blue Falcon points out with regards to Rountree's archaeological claims:
"Rountree also claimed to have polished and fixed the box the dagger came in, this can also be bought online. And it is Chinese not Tibetan (below). Tibetan temple artefacts would be held in a holy Tibetan box which would not be readily available. 
Furthermore, anything found on an expedition would not be taken by the "digger" as Rountree claims to be. It would belong to the institution that has the grant and permit for the dig, and would eventually be turned over to authorities for the purpose of historical preservation. If he is restoring these items, as he claims, he has destroyed their authenticity. That's Archaeology 101."
So we can be sure Rountree isn't a physicist or an archaeologist but is there anything he's told us we can be sure of.... Surely there's a limit to the things he is prepared to lie about?

3. Rountree's claims regarding his ethnicity. 

Rountree's habit of shifting from one claim to another extends beyond his academic claims to his ethnic heritage. Initially, Rountree claimed to be of Native American descent, with his mother being Eastern Cherokee and his father part of the Nasemond tribe. No Blue Falcons Points out here that the Nansemond were not the "larger nation" as Rountree claims below. They were part of the Powhatan chiefdom and confined to the VA area. NBF says someone of tribal ancestry would know this.

 I believe much of the reason for this was to appropriate an air of "shamanism" and give Rountree's activities in the paranormal community weight. He claims to be considered an "elder" of certain tribes and a "medicine man".


Roundtree has founded several groups based upon this ethnic identity, in particular, his page "Wolf Shaman" is a striking example of Roundtree's desire to ascribe specialist abilities to himself. Case in point.



When several individuals researched Rountree's actual ethnic origins they found he had essentially falsified his connection to Native Americans. The following E-mail exchange occurred between the blogger No Blue Falcons, who will return to our story in a major way shortly, and the genealogist of the tribe from which Rountree claimed his father belonged to:


When Rountree was exposed with regards to these claims regarding his ethnicity, he once again shifted his story. He became the descendant of "Viking Kings".


The last word regarding Rountree's heritage should go to the person who knows him the best. The only person truly in a position to expose Native American tales of wolf shamanism as completely fallacious. Rountree himself. This post came from a genealogy website Rountree used in 2002.

We can see that Rountree tells a lot of lies. Why does he do it? Essentially I believe that David desires an air of authority. Like many mediums, psychics, demonologists and the like, he seeks to give himself abilities and powers that set him above others in his field. He claims to have access to knowledge beyond that of his peers. His desire to be considered a source of wisdom is telling. Roundtree wants admiration and respect but doesn't want to work to earn it. He seeks it the easy way, by lying to obtain it. 

But your audience's respect and admiration may not be the only thing Rountree seeks to obtain. He's not above using his elevated position to hawk some tat.

4. Roundtree's Merchandise. 

Let's be clear here, Rountree isn't the worst culprit for this in the paranormal field, but that doesn't absolve him from criticism. Rountree not only used his falsified physics education to obtain a position on the short-lived Destination America show "Ghost Stalkers" but he's also used it to sell some utter rubbish to his fellow ghost hunters. In a November 2016 blog Rountree wrote: " I am selling off little by little, the tools and equipment from Spirit Lab. I just have to find the right home for each piece."


Equipment like "the orb sucker" which found its way to a group known as Revenant Research in 2011.


That red bag at the back? It's a handheld vacuum cleaner. Rountree designed an orb removal device that is a vacuum cleaner. Mull that over for a second.


If that's not your speed (bearing in mind that many vacuums have two or more speeds), how about a wormhole detector? A device designed to detect something that is purely theoretical that the greatest minds in science cannot move past hypothesis. Rountree detects them regularly using equipment built from materials from Home Depot.


In case you're wondering, PVC will not contain gamma rays which this claims to detect.

Don't worry if you're not into technology built from vacuum cleaners and PVC rings, Rountree has some more spiritual in nature paraphernalia to sell your audience which he sold via his "wolf creations" page on Facebook, now gone, Rountree now produces and sells Viking pieces in line with his switch in ethnicity.


This one brings death to your enemies, for when shit in a burning bag on a doorstep just won't do! Also note here the two posts pictured below connect David to the aforementioned "Wolf Creations".


David's attitude to his critics brings me to my next point.

5. Rountree doesn't handle criticism well. Understatement.

Let's say you go ahead and feature Rountree on your show, and some of your audience doesn't like him, doesn't rate his ideas or realise he doesn't really know what he's talking about. How is he going to react to that?



Well, he could do what he did to me when I pointed out his error in physics, refuse to answer any of the points put to him, then refuse to allow any other points to be put to him by blocking them.



At least he didn't imply that I was criticising him out of repressing sexual desire as he has done with his female critics.

Pretty mild right? Blocking critics isn't anything extraordinary these days. Well, Roundtree may also respond to criticism in a more extreme way. Including taking shots at a woman's physical disability...


And of the disabilities of one of his critic's children.

I'm not going to share the image Rountree directed to the mother of a child with severe disabilities. I've never asked my readers to take anything on faith, until now. I don't want to see it again, I don't want the lady in question to see it again and I don't want you to see it at all.

Rountree is also not averse to releasing the personal information of at least one of his critics to the public whilst threatening to do this to others. Doxxing is illegal may I add. Ironic as he has also threatened to sue the person in question as well as threatening others with cease and desist notices. One would think this would have been pointed out by his lawyers if he ever consulted one that is.


Insults are one thing, doxing is another. It's particularly chilling as Rountree has explicitly threatened to kill his critics and demonstrated that he has the capability to do just that by displaying weapons in images addressed to his detractors.


Conclusions

You are no doubt getting this right now, this is what you potentially expose your audience to if you chose to engage with Rountree. This is not an honest man and in my humble opinion, not a stable man. Do you really want your audience to be exposed to the things I've discussed in just the above section alone?

Insults, doxing, threats to kill?

If you do, go ahead and feature him on your show. But at least now you'll understand why people react so strongly towards the decision.

Many may wonder what motivated me to write this lengthy post, Rountree has never attacked me after all. Am I just a busy body, jumping into some witch hunt? Well, my issue is one of sacrifice. All the things that Rountree has lied about, taken shortcuts to cease adulation and respect and credibility, those things take sacrifice to achieve.

I'm acutely aware of the sacrifice it takes to achieve a degree in physics. I have two children, a partner and a job. During term time I work until 2 or 3 am on occasion, shower, go to bed, then get up at 7.30 am and head to work.  I take beta blockers to manage stress during exam periods.  I've sat cradling my child with a raging fever, rocking and soothing him, with a text book cracked open in my free hand.

You may think I want sympathy here. Or respect even.

Fuck sympathy. Respect? As Bon Scott once said, "for what?"

I want to know everything I can about physics. I want to share it with the paranormal and skeptical community, to help and inform and dispell ignorance, and have them trust what I am telling them. Not because I speak in jargon or with arrogance, confident in the fact that my audience won't catch me out. Not because I hide from critics, or abuse them, threaten them, say disgusting things about their children. I want to teach my children how amazing our universe is, the profound beauty in nature.

I will get that because I made the sacrifice. I paid my dues.

And my sacrifice is nothing. Nothing.

I know physics professors who battled dyslexia and a fickle and uncaring school system, dragged themselves from working class families in Warrington to Oxford. You all know Stephen Hawking, who was given two years to live after a devastating diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's disease at the age of 21. He is now 75. His survival alone borders on miraculous, the fact that he is the greatest living mind is beyond that. The man transcends a miracle. And I speak of these people because I study physics. The field of archaeology is also built on the sacrifice of its students.

Despite all this, these sacrifices pale in comparison, to that made by those in the armed forces. Those in combat may make the ultimate sacrifice, their families too.

Rountree's easy route to success spits on all of this and that means that it ultimately spits on the spirit of our desire to be better. Not just to appear better to those too ill informed to spot deception.

-Robert Lea,

Skeptic's Boot. 


Thanks and Credit.

I didn't really write this post. I gathered the of several individuals who have spent years dedicated to exposing David Rountree. Their reward for this thus far has been scorn and abuse. They've visited social media in the morning to stare down the barrel of a gun. They've had to deal with the knowledge that this man knows where they live, knows about their disabilities, their children's health and watched as this man and his followers attacked these vulnerabilities. I hope they look at what is posted here as a reward of sorts. They aren't alone. Their message about this man is out there.

Many of these people are wary of being named, others blatantly refused. Given what we've seen, who can blame them.

Special thanks to the team at Beyond Bullshit, Parawood and No Blue Falcons, who have helped me tirelessly over the past week assemble this post. They've been there at all hours of the day to answer my questions. I'm very grateful.

Sources: 
Stolen Valour

https://nobluefalcons.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/david-rountree-and-the-long-awaited-dd214/


https://nobluefalcons.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/the-barney-style-proof-david-rountree-lied/

https://nobluefalcons.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/david-rountrees-lies-come-full-circle/

https://nobluefalcons.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/the-records-prove-stolen-valor-by-tv-personality-and-author-david-rountree/

Rountree's Physics Claims.

http://skepticsboot.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/the-wacky-world-of-david-rountree-phd.html

http://skepticsboot.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/holes-in-theory-review-of-david.html

http://skepticsboot.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/stuffing-turkey-another-round-with.html