Sunday, June 7, 2015

Semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit

Or translated in English to "the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges". An apropo maxim for Colleen Fitzpatrick's latest attempt to discredit Benjaman Kyle (She was previously interviewed on a news segment). Ms. Fitzpatrick opens by asking in the title of her June 2, 2015 Indentifinders blog post, "Has the Genetic Genealogy community lost its GPS?" with "GPS" referring to "Genealogical Proof Standard". She charges that the genetic genealogy community has a "blatant disregard" for the Genealogical Proof Standard.

After quoting comments made by others in support of Mr. Kyle, Ms. Fitzpatrick accuses those supporters as embracing his "statements as true without review".

Ms. Fitzpatrick then proceeds to diagnose Mr. Kyle with a "mental problem" or "psychological condition": 
"If Mr. Kyle is an amnesiac, he has a mental problem. If he is only pretending to be an amnesiac, he has a psychological condition.
And it should be noted that while Ms. Fitzpatrick lists on LinkedIn that she holds a PhD in physics from Duke University, she is not an MD, nor PhD trained in psychology, nor even a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to make any diagnoses or determination on the state of Mr. Kyle's condition. Even so, she uses her diagnoses as a basis for saying, 
"Why are so many genealogists jumping on Kyle’s bandwagon without questioning what he is saying?"
In what is perhaps, the most dumbfounding part of her diatribe, Ms. Fitzpatrick then writes:
"The wise genealogist should insist Mr. Kyle produce the name of the law firm he alleges I hired. A wise genealogist should also request a copy of the letter I supposedly sent to DNA volunteers to deter them from working on his case.
Kyle has not produced either of these items, nor have any DNA volunteers come forward claiming to have received such a letter."
because the utter folly in mentioning this is that it actually exists and has been produced! Its posted here with the permission of the recipient:

This letter was transcribed and posted to the Indentifinders blog comments section but its been sitting in moderation since June 3, 2015.

The next part of the blog post delves into the denial of service attack and blocked access to Mr. Kyle's DNA accounts. These are things that the DNA companies have records on and can be verified by them for Mr. Kyle, and any involved law enforcement and/or legal representation. 

Ms. Fitzpatrick closes her blog piece by questioning Mr. Kyle's character with "An individual’s DNA does not provide insight into his character" and insinuating that he may have had a nefarious past in the mafia, drug cartel, child molester or dodging child support. And that because people believe what he's saying that genetic genealogists are nothing more than a "...rabid crowd, cannibalized by their starvation for excitement". She closes with,
"What happened to our Genealogical Proof Standards?"
That last line may be the most valid statement made in the article by Ms. Fitzpatrick! What happens when GPS lists "evidence [that] is direct and virtually impregnable" like producing a legal letter? Are there any ramifications if a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists uses a blog to carry out a character assassination on a former client? 

Indeed, what has happened to proof and standards?