If you are not following this dust-up, don't try. It will eat up your entire morning, and some of your afternoon. But I am following it, and it just got more interesting.
So we have a guy, now known as William, who wants to do battle with the new atheists, and defend Chris Mooney, and evidently he feels small and powerless. So he goes Oz on everyone, and pretends to be someone else--not one great and powerful wizard, but rather he looks for power in numbers. He sends multiple personae (Milton C., bilbo, etc) to The Intersection where they defend Mooney and castigate his critics. Later on, he starts a blog, You're Not Helping, where he pretends to be a "we" and creates sock puppets to comment on and support everything he says. All strange, but all true.
When all this comes to light and William confesses, he starts listing all his sock puppets, and includes one "Tom Johnson", who caused quite a stir at the Intersection back in October 2009 by telling a story about how he'd witnessed religion-bashing at a conservation meeting. Just a sock puppet, William now says. That comes as a shock to Chris Mooney, because Chris had checked him out, identified him as real student X, and used his story as supporting evidence in a post of his own.
When William decommissioned Tom Johnson, there was much excitement at various anti-Mooney blogs. It wasn't just schadenfreude--Chris Mooney has been duped! Ha Ha!--but there was a new round of a popular game called "pin something on Chris Mooney." It was biased of him to believe in the crazy stories of a sock puppet. He must have done a very shabby job of checking him out.
Now, that struck me as very premature, but now I see just how premature. It turns out that William was lying when he said Tom Johnson was one of his sock puppets. Tom Johnson was for real, as Chris learned by checking him out thoroughly in 2009. Mooney knew then and knows now who he is, and I do too, because I've seen the correspondence and other corroborating evidence.
Not only does Chris know the identity of Tom Johnson, but I think he's being a bit modest about what he had reason to believe in 2009. The student provided ample well-corroborated detail that made it clear he could have witnessed just what he said he'd witnessed. Granted, "William's" credibility is zero right now, so who really knows what he witnessed? But at the time William/Tom Johnson/X sent that email, back in October 2009, his story were believable.
No doubt, the accusations will continue, and get stranger and stranger. But from my perspective, case closed.
Correction 7/29: My first comment here --after gussnarp's question--was rushed and garbled because I had to get to a horse show (!). The comment reduced this post to 8 points, but I badly misstated one or two of them, in my hurry to get out the door. The post itself, and my 6:19, 7:23, and 10:45 comments, say what I had to say more clearly. Now that more is publicly known about the student, I imagine they are all now easier to comprehend.