KEITH MOORE: PLAGIARISM TRULY LACKS ETHICS AND INTEGRITY; IN PARTICULAR IF YOU CLAIM TO BE A SCHOLAR
By Fahim A. Knight-El
I was trained by some of the best black academicians in America, it was a group of scholars and historians that included Dr. Earlie Thorpe, Dr. David W. Bishop, Dr. Stephen A. Fortune, Dr. Sylvia Jacobs, Dr. Percy E. Murray, Dr. Beverly Jones, Dr. Freddie Parker, etc., I would consider most of them from the historical school of thought of the late Dr. John Hope Franklin who once taught at North Carolina College For Negroes (presently known as North Carolina Central University). The late Dr. John Hope Franklin was a professor of Emeritus at Duke University (the Harvard of the South) and his monumental work titled, "From Slavery to Freedom" has truly survived the test of time, moreover, this book has been one of the most widely published African American history text books in all of black academia and has been translated in many different languages (numerous of editions have been published since it was originally published in 1947). The above mentioned old school professors were very meticulous about teaching research methodology and the importance of using citations and reinforcing the obligation scholars have of referencing ones sources—they drilled the importance of using footnotes or endnotes as methods of citations, even if you paraphrased or directly quoted an author or source.
It was mandated that you cited where the information may have originated in order to give the author credit for his/her research. And at the end of the research paper, thesis and/or dissertation, it was required to provide a bibliography—denoting all the research sources you used to establish your findings (this intent also was to reinforce the value of objective research). This practice was non-negotiable and non-compromising because as a scholar, writer, researcher, etc., to intentionally and fraudulently plagiarize someone’s else work was taboo, it automatically diminishes the credibility of the perpetrator and brings into the question their overall integrity as a scholar in particular, if a person is a public academician, it would perhaps taint how one is viewed as a scholar/writer and can their research be trusted to be reliable and valued in the realm of scholarship as a credible investigation. If one happens to be a teacher or professor the behavior of plagiarizing others work could lead to some type of disciplinary sanction and/or termination by the university of higher learning governing staff.
Thus, these most valuable points of academic instructions were drilled into me by the above mentioned scholars and academicians. Although, most of the above professors, that I have mentioned were very conservative in their historical analysis and their interpretation of black history and it caused me to challenge their contentions (my position often got me in trouble—they desired to play it safe and quite naturally my approach has always been a lot more militant and radical or better yet nonconforming). This did not take away the stringent and rigorous of the training of ensuring we had internalized the importance of documentation. The late Dr. Earl Thorpe (a self-proclaimed Socialist) was one of my mentors who authored books titled: "Black Historians: A Critique" and "Central Theme of Black History" and was the author of seven other books and a number of scholarly articles; this man was heavy and stood as a true intellectual (I used to spend many days and hours in his office soaking up his vast experiences and knowledge) many of the professors told me that Harvard University used to fly Dr. Thorpe from North Carolina Central University (Durham, North Carolina) twice a week to Boston to teach courses in black history. I am forever conscious to never negate letting my readers know when I have collaborated my thesis by using and examining other people's work, which to inform them that a said thought, passage, paragraph, sentence, phrase, etc., may have not originated with me and I find it important and highly necessary to give credit; this is where academic integrity lie. What is considered plagiarizing: "an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author; appropriation, infringement, piracy, counterfeiting; theft, borrowing, cribbing, passing off, a piece of writing or other work reflecting such unauthorized use or imitation."
I have been a student of Kate Turabian methods of citation for many years because most of the above historians that I mentioned were advocates of teaching from Turabian's book titled: "A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations" as the guide in governing historical research methods. When someone steals something from you or take something from you; you feel a sense of personal violation and there is an eerie feeling that subsides in you and it takes time before those feelings to leave you and in more serious cases of violation they may never leave you. This is the way I felt after discovering that Keith Moore had stolen and plagiarized some of my work published on my Blog Internet site. Lets be clear, the knowledge and wisdom that we acquire along our journey on this earth does not belong to any of us (in reality, it all belongs to Allah) because there is nothing new under the sun and no one has a monopoly on the divine wisdom that the Creator has allowed to flow through us as a vessel.
I initially contacted Authorhouse who published Mr. Moore's work in order to get some legal and ethical clarity about writers who fraudulently steal other people's intellectual property and Authorhouse signed off as the authorized publisher of the work—where were the checks and balances? I have repeatedly telephoned Authorhouse and emailed their corporate headquarters and have yet to receive a response (I did get confidential response in which I will not reveal the content of that conversation). I also telephoned Mr. Keith Moore on or about August 13, 2013, in which initially he did not answer, but he did call me right back; I identified myself and went on to tell him the nature of my call in which I had discovered that he had plagiarized some of my work and quite naturally he went straight to the defensive and was trying to deny that he had fraudulently stole some of my exact wording and publishing them as his own in his book titled, Freemasonry, Greek Philosophy, The Prince Hall Fraternity and the Egyptian (African) World Connection. Mr. Moore then tried to make the argument that I was not the only Blogger dealing with Freemasonry and Kemet. He is right about that contention, but most African Centered writers and intellectuals are either heavily engaged in the culture and historical realm of these type subjects, but their views are apolitical. He even tried to lie about being unaware of my Blog and then said he may have visited my site once or twice, it was clear to me that this man was/is a frequent viewer of my site and I feel comfortable enough to say he reads my posted research on Freemasonry (I am the only one of African descent that writes about these subjects in an uncompromising manner--there are some pretenders out there).
Many of them are afraid to speak truth to power and this is what separates my opinions and Blog writings from those so-called African Americans who are conscious (they are only culturally conscious), but are not politically and socially motivated because often the enemy of truth and liberation have control over their minds and tongues (many still desire the crumbs that falls from the rich man's table). Some years ago I was in radio debate with Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown) former Minister of Justice of the Black Panther Party and former Chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) he said to me, "Brother culture is necessary, but it is not sufficient." I would have to grow in my understanding to accept and appreciate Imam Al-Amin's wisdom. Yet, I do still consider myself somewhat a cultural nationalist, but I understand that everything around me is political and this is what has helped to shape my worldview and it is this position that distinguishes me from other controlled Black Talking Heads.
So for Mr. Moore to continue to make this off the wall argument that I was not the only pundit who wrote this way was ludicrous and in my opinion, it only served as a mere distraction technique used in order to make me believe that he could have ascertain his information from a number of sites and sources. This much of his argument could be viewed as being valid, but how coincidental, is it that someone writes literally the exact same words, phrases, punctuations, etc., with no deviations or rearrangement of content from what I had written on my public viewed Internet Blog. If I had not reviewed Mr. Moore's book, perhaps this blunder could have been seen as a mere oversight with no intentions of committing plagiarism, but the evidences points to the fact that Mr. Moore appears to be college trained and does have clear knowledge about how to go about researching and documenting his findings. Moreover, I cannot relegate his negligence to a lack of understanding research methodology because even the book that is in question, he has notes, citations and a bibliography, which proves as being proof positive that this man knows how to give scholarly credit to others for their thoughts, research, opinions and views.
He did quasi ask me where do we go from here in which on the day that I telephone him he was rushing to work and he promised to call me back in order to finish our conversation. I do not think that I could ever view Mr. Moore and his literary works the same anymore knowing what he did to me has raised serious integrity and credibility issues and I advise other African Centered writers to review this brother's work and to make sure that he has not been practicing piracy and stealing other people's ideas and profiting and making money. Mr. Moore not only owes me a public apology, but he owes me some financial royalties, it is incumbent upon him to right the wrong. Mr. Moore is perhaps not the only one who is practicing plagiarism (or theft by deception) in particular, from the Internet; I also know that by writing this piece and exposing Mr. Moore this will probably increase his books sells and bring a little more notoriety to his works because controversy sells and people often becomes intrigued by quarrels, discord, conflict, etc., and this often serves as a motivational factor that causes people to spend money in order to investigate a matter for themselves, which places them in the know. I have spoken and written the truth and would never commit slander, libel or defamation against ones character and good name this would be illegal and against U.S. Law, but I have only spoken the truth from my vanish point. I think writing is a very honorable profession and I personally have always found it be fulfilling. I had heard of scholars and writers plagiarizing other people's work, but it is something when it touches home.
This brother could have just sent me a notation requesting my permission to incorporate some of my writings and thoughts into his project, I would have granted him permission to do so. I allow people to re-post articles from my Blog on other progressive and conscious oriented websites. Most sites post what I deem a public memorandum of understanding. For example, I pulled this one from Kenny's Sideshow Blog site http://kennysideshow.blogspot.com/ : "This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. in our efforts to identify humanity's problems and hopefully to help find solutions for those problems. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. A click on a hyperlink is a request for information. Consistent with this notice you are welcome to make 'fair use' of anything you find on this web site. However, if you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner".
I caught Mr. Keith Moore, author of the book titled, Freemasonry, Greek Philosophy, The Prince Hall Fraternity and the Egyptian (African) World Connection, ISBN-10: 1438909055 and/or ISBN-13: 978-1438909059 red handed. I had Google searched my name which is Fahim A. Knight-El and somehow it brought me to Mr. Moore's Amazon PDF Book inside and bonus readings and I immediately noticed that the wording and writing style resembled my own. Moreover, I continued to read and no doubt Mr. Moore had taken parts of some of my literary work that I had published on my Internet Blog titled Fahim A. Knight—Keeping it Real and without proper quotes and citations and claiming them as his own (he had not contacted me to take that type of liberty without my permission).
I had to awake my wife late that night and asked her to re-read what I thought that I was reading, which was portions of my work (I was really angered by this because what he did lacks integrity) as stated above I would not have had a problem with him using portions of my work, but at least be respectful and honorable enough to cite and give me credit for the research. My wife could not believe what her eyes were dictating. He had verbatim took portions of my writings from an article I had written titled, "Revisited Dr. Lefkowitz Not Out of Africa" and plagiarized my words as being his own. I had Internet published various articles on Freemasonry and in Mr. Moore's "Introduction" of the above book; I have proof from that said article published in 2007 that he had lifted information and passages and did not cite me or give proper credit of where he pulled this information from. What Mr. Moore has appeared to have done, is unethical and illegal and compromises what the title of scholar truly mean. This is stealing of my intellectual property.
Mr. Moore now has a legal duty to make me whole in order to correct this unlawful and unethical act in which he has financially benefited for over five years and at the same time I am calling on him to cease and desist of any further use of illegal and unauthorized use of any present and future lifting and unlawful usage of my intellectual property for commercial, trade, financial use, etc., whereas he and/or the publisher are the financial beneficiaries of unlawfully plagiarizing (which amounts to a for profit venture) this includes any of my Internet published articles, but not limited to and/or any other works that may appear in the public and/or private domain that I have authored that is deemed under the authorship of Fahim A. Knight-El or Fahim A. Knight and any other name derivative, which comes under the statues of electronic materials that is protected under copyright laws and legal statues of the United States of America.
Stay Awake Until We Meet Again,
Fahim A. Knight-El