A few times now I’ve butted heads with a chap named Brian Niemeier, a hard-right indie sci-fi author who believes that demons are turning people into Marxists. I’ve seen Niemeier turning up as a topic in the blogosphere again lately; these discussions have focused mainly on his religio-political views, but I’d like to take the opportunity to talk about something a little different. I want to point out how Brian Niemeier has made a grave ethical lapse as an author by lending support to a known plagiarist.
Now, this isn’t exactly news. I mentioned the subject in passing back in 2017, but I didn’t go into detail. With this post, I hope to make the case clearer.
First, let me introduce the plagiarist who Niemeier supports. His name is Douglas S. Taylor and he runs a one-man publishing company called DarcWorX. Taylor has committed literally dozens of acts of plagiarism by using copyrighted artwork without permission on book covers, publicity material and merchandise. I’ve already written in detail about my experiences with Taylor, but if you don’t have time to read that, here are a few samples of Taylor’s theft:
Left: Douglas Taylor’s painting “The Wolf King”. Right: Edeltraud the Lone King from the collectible card game Legend of the Cryptids.
Left: The cover to Douglas S. Taylor’s book Tales From Under the Concrete Volume II. Right: photographic art by Anastasia Kozlova.
Inset: The cover to Douglas S. Taylor’s book Tales From Under the Concrete Volume III. Surrounding: some desktop wallpaper.
Left: a $75 t-shirt once available from Doug Taylor’s online store. Right: the cover of Beat the Bastards, an album by The Exploited.
Left: a $100 tote bag from Taylor’s online store. Right: an untitled 1986 painting by Polish artist Zdzislaw Beksinski (1929-2005).
Douglas S. Taylor posts a web banner incorporating a painting by Tom Edwards, and receives a cease and desist notice from the artist.
I could go on, but you get the idea (If you really want more, there’s a whole Twitter account dedicated to charting Douglas S. Taylor’s plagiarism.)
Where does Brian Niemeier enter the picture? Well, when Niemeier posted a rant about me in 2017, he linked with approval to a specific post on Doug Taylor’s blog in an attempt to bolster his attack. The post has since been deleted by Taylor, but here’s an archive of it as it stood when Niemeier linked to it. A relevant excerpt:
I am going to uncover and reveal a couple of ass clowns that have went way out of their way to gain my attention in a most negative way. Please, don’t feel bad that I drug them into the light and to club upon in a verbal literary light. They have this coming.
One thing these Social Goons don’t understand I have their real names, addresses, workplaces, cell, and phone numbers to say nothing about their IP and MAC addresses. Yeah, I was in the Intelligence Community a long time ago while these guys were still shitting green in their diapers.
Let us take the first filthy belly-crawling lowlife…
The very disturbed Doris V. Southerland classifies himself as a transgender and in all actuality very much a man just in woman’s clothing.
Notice that Taylor is openly bragging about having obtained the home addresses, telephone numbers and other personal information pertaining to two “ass clowns” (that is, myself and a second person who criticised Taylor’s plagiarism). I think any reasonable observer would conclude from this that Taylor is a stalker and that I am one of his victims.
But yet, Niemeier has a very different takeaway:
You should probably check the trees outside your house for six foot dudes wearing dresses and night vision goggles, because this particular CHORF rates pretty high on the creepy stalker scale.
Douglas S. Taylor, a former associate of the six foot tranny of the hour, offers his harrowing personal ordeal as a warning:
After which he pulls some quotes from Taylor’s post about me. Naturally, he avoids mentioning the part where Taylor boasts about having my home address — after all, that would only have shown that if anyone’s “pretty high on the creepy stalker scale”, it’s Doug Taylor.
This isn’t a simple misunderstanding. This isn’t a case of Niemeier grabbing the wrong end of the stick by accident. Niemeier makes a concerted effort to portray serial plagiarist Taylor as an innocent victim, no matter how many inconvenient details must be swept under the carpet in the process. Indeed, Niemeier lauds Taylor as a “hero” and “a man who’s actually accomplished something”.
According to Niemeier, those who point out Doug Taylor’s plagiarism are “trying to undermine a man who’s actually accomplished something.”
Nowhere in his post does Niemeier acknowledge that Taylor is a plagiarist. Taylor’s post actually mentioned the accusations of plagiarism (and made an incoherent attempt at defence) but Niemeier conveniently neglects to bring this up, and instead makes it look as though I’ve randomly targeted Taylor for no reason whatsoever.
Why am I blogging about this two years after the fact? Well, here’s the thing: Niemeier’s still at it.
Niemeier clearly hasn’t rethought his decision to support Doug Taylor. When he rambles about “cyberstalking” he is referring to the fact that I entered the covers to Taylor’s books into Google Images to find where he’d stolen the art from. In reality, it isn’t possible to “stalk” a book cover — but it is possible to stalk human beings by digging up their home addresses, just as Douglas S. Taylor boasts of having done to me. And yet, Niemeier shows no qualms about supporting Taylor, a known plagiarist and an admitted stalker.
Note that the two aren’t even ideological bedfellows. Niemeier is a hardline Christian who believes that the left is controlled by demons; Taylor, on the other hand, despises Christianity with all the fervour of a teenage metalhead. Niemeier is certainly sacrificing his ethics as a creator by defending this plagiarist, and I suppose you could argue that he is also abandoning his own religious principles. After all, it seems a bit rich for him to claim that his opponents are demon-controlled Christ-haters, and then support a guy who swiped a picture of a zombified Jesus.
I haven’t been able to trace the creator of the image on the right, but at this point, we can safely assume it’s not Taylor.
And in case you’re wondering why Niemeier is so hell-bent on scoring points against me that he’s willing to support a known plagiarist to do so, well, it’s because I questioned the popularity of his book. That’s the level of pettiness we’re dealing with.