Cult of Cthulhu Bible Review: Darrick Speaks, Part 5

Another email from Darrick Dishaw, speaking about all manner of things I won’t go into here. Still, he does offer a challenge that I want to address.

As Darrick tells it, it was one or two years ago that he did the research for the Cult of Cthulhu Bible. Thus, all I have to do is look at the Wikipedia page from two years ago and see if it’s identical to his book.

Those two pages are quite different. I guess we’ll have to take his word for it, right?

No. Wait. We don’t have to.

You see, Darrick, you didn’t actually provide any proof that you did the research then, so I don’t have to analyze based on it.

Instead, let’s examine the history of edits of Wikipedia to see in what ways the text of your book coincides with it.

First, let’s take the following phrase, identical in the Cult of Cthulhu Bible and the Wikipedia entry:

There are leaders of the cult “in the mountains of China” who are said to be immortal.

This phrase enters the Wikipedia entry at 8:05 AM on 11/3/2006, posted by Phoenix-Forgotten. Two minutes before, the first draft of the sentence was posted, with the final wording arrived upon in the subsequent posting. A small controversy erupted as to whether this was accurate (don’t ask me why – the deathless Chinamen are mentioned in “The Call of Cthulhu”), but this was resolved with a post to the talk page.

Let’s take another:

Cthulhu (other spellings: Kutulu, Ktulu, Cthulu, Kthulhut, Thu Thu, Tulu and many others)

“Ktulu” is the most recent addition to the Wikipedia list, added by the user RandomCheese on December 5, 2006 at 11:57 PM. You can see the change here. Not only are all the names the same between the two sources, but they have been arranged in the identical order and surrounded by identical phrasing.

We’re not done. See the unmarked paragraph in the left-hand column of my chart? An identical paragraph was removed from the Wikipedia page in an edit on December 17. If we add the movement of a quotation mark – bear with me, folks! – we can shave a few days off the range.

To update Darrick’s story: He did extensive research on the Cthulhu Mythos over a year ago, afterward managing to produce an original text – excuse me, one “without so much original prose” – nearly identical to an article on Wikipedia that existed between December 5 and 14 of last year.

I haven’t even examined the other Wikipedia entries, Darrick. And there are still those other two websites that I’ve mentioned. Surely a conscientious author would go through his prose to attempt to determine which ones those might be?

Shall I continue?

UPDATE:  More here.

Published in: on January 10, 2007 at 3:48 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think I can explain this for you Dan. This is clearly a case of subconscious psychic forces at work. When Darrick did his “research” on the Mythos in early 2005, or whenever it really was, the power of his resulting draft version created a massive disturbance in the collective unconsciousness. So mighty was the energy of his eldritch writing, that entirely unknowingly, the contributors to Wikipedia, and those writing the text for the other nameless websites, were subconsciously compelled to alter their screeds until they were all identical to Darrick’s, almost word for word. It’s truly a tribute to Cthulhu’s ability to reach into our dreams and touch our innermost psyche.

    Of course some people may think that it’s far more likely that he just copied and pasted the whole thing from a web page. But I think that’s terribly cynical. They probably don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny, either. For shame.

  2. Over the course of one discussion thread, where Darrick makes three of the six posts, he goes from accusing Dan of buying the book two days after its release in order to change Wikipedia to discredit Darrick, to claiming that Dan somehow procured a copy of his draft from a year ago and made unaccredited changes through Dan’s ‘connections’ at Wikipedia. The kicker…it was all on Darrick’s very own forum.

    He doesn’t have to worry about keeping his lies straight. He posted them right there for everyone to see.

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