Louis Proyect is a liar with disturbing behavior

Louis Proyect is the obsessive blogger behind the website The Unrepentant Marxist. He has taken it upon himself to publicly malign me (along with several other fellow journalists), smearing me with blatant lies and slinging any mud he can in my direction.

Proyect has consistently demonstrated an affinity for lying, and has written numerous demonstrably false things about me and my colleagues. Other websites have noticed this pattern, and have highlighted Proyect’s lies.

Even more troubling, however, is Proyect’s long-established record of incredibly disturbing behavior, which borders on stalking.

There are several examples of such deranged activity, but the most egregious is the fact that Louis Proyect photoshopped my head onto a cockroach.

louis proyect ben norton cockroach

(UPDATE, 15 May 2017: Someone notified me that Louis Proyect went out of his way to repost the photo of me as a cockroach on May 14, doubling down on his demented conduct.)

Yes, Proyect actually took the time to put a photo of my face onto an image of an insect, and then posted it on his website. Yet he expects people to take him seriously as a political writer, while engaging in this incredibly disturbing ad hominem behavior.

Hours after I was let go from my job as a staff reporter at Salon (in a corporate executive decision made without the knowledge of my editors, with whom I still have good relations), Louis Proyect sent a disconcerting email ridiculing me, writing, “Too bad. Maybe you should get a decent job as a programmer or something so you won’t have to prostitute yourself again.”

Later, Proyect added in an even more deranged email, “I write about you in the same way a microbiologist puts cancer cells under a microscope. Get used to it.”

That’s not all. Louis Proyect has penned dozens of articles about me and my journalist colleagues. Anyone who opposes US regime change in Syria, he smears as an “Assadist.” Proyect of course never cites any pieces of evidence showing that we supposedly support Bashar al-Assad, because it simply is not true. (Just to make it extra clear, no, I do not support Assad, nor do the other journalists Proyect libels, such as Rania Khalek and Max Blumenthal.)

In lieu of pesky proof, Louis Proyect attacks his ideological opponents with lies, along with a fair share of disingenuous personal attacks.

Proyect’s latest tactic is to smear me as an “Stalinist.” This, like the “Assadist” label, is once again slander Proyect is using to try to destroy my career, tarnish my public reputation, and ultimately silence me for daring to challenge his political views.

Louis Proyect and Pernicious Smears

All of this is particularly rich considering Louis Proyect is a hardcore sectarian Trotskyite blogger who has publicly expressed support for Jabhat al-Nusra, Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate.

Behind the mudslinging, one quickly sees that there is little substance to Proyect’s putative political writing. The facts are simply not on his side, so, like many in the pro-rebel crowd, Proyect is left to sheer fabrication and mudslinging.

Instead of addressing facts, Louis Proyect distracts from the issues and impugns sources (professor Max Abrahms is a popular scapegoat); instead of addressing the hyper-reactionary, ultra-sectarian nature of the Syrian opposition, Proyect libels his ideological opponents as “Assadists,” “Baathists,” and “Stalinists.”

His tactics are very similar to those of pro-Israel groups, who have also repeatedly libeled me and other critics of the Israeli government’s multitudinous violations of international law and Palestinian human rights with lies, dishonestly smearing us as “anti-Semitic” and claiming we are “useful idiots” of Islamist extremists.

If I were litigious (and had the money for a lawyer), I would consider taking legal action against Louis Proyect over the numerous lies he has spread about me.

But, to be frank, I also fear for my safety, considering how Proyect and his extreme friends, like Idrees Ahmad and Oz Katerji, have already engaged in this kind of deranged behavior. Pro-regime change allies who have lobbied for years for greater US military intervention in Syria (and who successfully did so in Libya before that) have already sent death threats to Max Blumenthal and have tried to do everything they can to destroy the career of Rania Khalek.

This behavior is not just completely unprofessional, it is utterly unacceptable and dangerous.