This page was created to counter the ongoing harassment and false claims made by former UCLA researcher Nicole Prause as part of an ongoing “astroturf” campaign to persuade people that anyone who disagrees with her conclusions deserves to be reviled. (Watch this short, excellent TEDx talk, “Astroturf and manipulation of media messages” | Sharyl Attkisson – YouTube if you aren’t familiar with the astroturf phenomenon. The speaker explains which terms give away astroturf campaigns such as, “debunking myths (that aren’t myths),” claims of “pseudoscience,” disregard/disparagement of opposing scientific findings, and all personal attacks that do not address substance. Count how many of them appear below! (Prause has also falsely, publicly, repeatedly claimed to have a court restraining order against Wilson: See details.)
Since this page was first created Prause has targeted others, including researchers, medical doctors, therapists, psychologists, former UCLA colleagues, a UK charity, men in recovery, a TIME magazine editor, several professors, IITAP, SASH, Fight The New Drug, the academic journal Behavioral Sciences, and the head of the academic journal CUREUS. These incidents are in the “OTHERS” sections. Several additional incidents have occurred that we are not at liberty to divulge. This page is arranged roughly in chronological order.
Important point: While Prause continues to falsely claim she is “the victim,” it is Prause who initiated all contact and harassment towards the individuals and organizations listed on this page. No one on this list has harassed Nicole Prause. Her fabricated claims about being a victim of “stalking” or misogyny from “anti-porn activists” lack one iota of documentation. Put simply, Prause has created a mythology with zero verifiable evidence, while being closely allied with the porn industry. All the evidence she provides is self-generated: a single info-graphic, a few emails from her to others describing harassment, and five spurious cease and desist letters containing false allegations.
Table of Contents:
- March & April, 2013: The beginning of Nicole Prause’s harassment, false claims and threats
- July, 2013: Prause publishes her first EEG study. Wilson critiques it. Prause employs multiple usernames to post lies around the Web
- November 2013: Prause places a libelous PDF on her SPAN Lab website. Content mirrors “anonymous” comments around the Web
- December 2013: Prause’s initial tweet is about Wilson & the CBC. “RealScience” posts same false claims on same day
- Fall 2014: Documentation of Prause lying to film producers about Gary Wilson and Donald L. Hilton Jr., MD
- May 2014: Dozens of Prause sock puppets post information on porn recovery forums that only Prause would know or care about
- Others – Summer 2014: Prause urges patients to report sex addiction therapists to state boards
- January, 2015: “The Prause Chapter” described 9 months earlier by a YourBrainRebalanced.com troll is finally published
- Others – 2015 & 2016: Prause falsely accuses sex addiction therapists of reparative therapy
- Others – March, 2015 (ongoing): Prause and her sock puppets (including “PornHelps”) go after Gabe Deem
- Others – October 2015: Prause’s original Twitter account is permanently suspended for harassment
- Others – November, 2015: Cureus Journal founder John Adler MD blogs about Prause & David Ley harassment
- Others – March, 2016: Prause (falsely) tells TIME Magazine that Gabe Deem impersonated a doctor to write a formal critique of her study (letter to the editor) in an academic journal (and the letter was traced to Gabe’s computer)
- Others – June, 2016: Prause and her sock puppet PornHelps claim that respected neuroscientists are members of “anti-porn groups” and “their science is bad”
- Others – July, 2016: Prause & David Ley attack NoFap founder Alexander Rhodes
- Others – July, 2016: Prause falsely accuses @PornHelp.org of harassment, libel, and promoting hate
- Others – July, 2016: Prause & sock puppet “PornHelps” attack Alexander Rhodes, falsely claiming he faked porn-induced sexual problems
- Others – July, 2016: Nicole Prause & “PornHelps” falsely accuse TIME editor Belinda Luscombe of lying and misquoting
- Others – April, 2016: A Nicole Prause sock puppet edits the Belinda Luscombe Wikpedia page
- Others – September 2016: Prause attacks and libels former UCLA colleague Rory C. Reid PhD. 2 years earlier “TellTheTruth” posted the exact same claims & documents on a porn recovery site frequented by Prause’s many sock puppets
- September, 2016: Prause libels Gary Wilson and others with AmazonAWS documents & infographic (which Prause tweeted dozens of times)
- Others – Prause falsely accuses Donald Hilton, MD
- Others – September 25, 2016: Prause attacks therapist Paula Hall
- Others – October, 2016: Prause commits perjury attempting to silence Alexander Rhodes
- 2015 & 2016: Prause violates COPE’s code of conduct to harass Gary Wilson and a Scottish charity
- October, 2016 – Prause publishes her spurious October, 2015 “cease and desist” letter. Wilson responds by publishing his letter to Prause’s lawyer.
- October, 2016 – Prause had co-presenter Susan Stiritz “warn campus police” that Gary Wilson might fly 2000 miles to listen to Prause say porn addiction isn’t real
- Others – October, 2016: Prause falsely states that SASH and IITAP “board members and practitioners are openly sexist and assaultive to scientists“
- Others – November, 2016: Prause asks VICE magazine to fire infectious disease specialist Keren Landman, MD for supporting Prop 60 (condoms in porn)
- Others – November, 2016: Prause falsely claims to have sent cease & desist letters to panelists on the Mormon Matters podcast
- Others – December, 2016: In a Quora answer Prause tells a porn addict to visit a prostitute (a violation of APA ethics and California law)
- Others – December, 2016: Prause reports Fight the New Drug to the State of Utah (tweets over 30 times about FTND)
- Others – January, 2017: Nicole Prause tweets that Noah B. Church is a scientifically inaccurate non-expert and religious profiteer
- Others – January, 2017: Prause smears professor Frederick M. Toates with a laughable claim
- Others – Janurary, 2017: Prause defames publisher MDPI calling Behavioral Sciences a “fake journal”
- Others – January, 2017 (and earlier): Prause employs multiple user accounts (including “NotGaryWilson”) to edit Wikipedia
- Others – April, 2017: Prause insults Professor Gail Dines, PhD, perhaps for joining the “Op-ed: Who exactly is misrepresenting the science on pornography?”
- Others – May, 2017: Prause attacks SASH (Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health)
- Others – September, 2017: Prause claims all who believe porn can be harmful and addictive are “science-illiterate & misogynistic”
- Prause’s history of intentionally mischaracterizing porn related research (including her own)
In The Beginning – March & April 2013: The beginning of Nicole Prause’s libel, threats and harassment
- Key point: Prause initiated all direct contacts with Gary Wilson. Prause continues to publicly harass and libel Wilson while simultaneously (falsely) claiming he is under a court’s “no contact” order. This is like punching an innocent person in the face while simultaneously screaming “Stop hitting me!”
March 5, 2013
Author of “The Myth of Sex Addiction,” David Ley, and Nicole Prause team up to write a Psychology Today blog post with the strategic title: “Your Brain on Porn – It’s NOT Addictive.” (Your Brain On Porn is a website founded by Wilson.) It was about Nicole Prause’s unpublished, yet to be peer-reviewed EEG study (“Sexual desire, not hypersexuality, is related to neurophysiological responses elicited by sexual images”).
It’s important to note that only Ley received access to Prause’s unpublished study (it was published 5 months later). The blog post linked to Wilson’s ‘Your Brain on Porn’ website and suggested that YBOP was in favor of banning porn (untrue).
- Second key point: Five months before Prause’s EEG study (Steele et al., 2013) was published, both Prause and Ley were targeting Gary Wilson and his website.
March 7, 2013
Wilson published a Psychology Today blog post responding to the content in the David Ley post. Ley’s blog post and Wilson’s response were eventually removed by Psychology Today editors, as the underlying study wasn’t yet available. You can find the original Ley and Wilson blog posts archived here. It’s important to note that Wilson’s blog post clearly states it was only responding to Ley’s description of the Prause study. Later Nicole Prause would falsely accuse Wilson of misrepresenting her study (that only she and Ley had seen, and were making public claims about – which were later shown to be unfounded).
- Third key point: five subsequent peer-reviewed critiques of Steele et al. are in accord with Wilson’s analysis.
March 7, 2013
Wilson posts under David Ley’s article requesting the study:
“Hey David – I’m wondering how you got your hands on a study that has yet to published, or mentioned anywhere else. Are you willing to send me a copy?”
David Ley did not respond.
April 10, 2013
In response to the above comment, Prause contacted the Psychology Today editors, commented under my PT article, and emailed Wilson the following. In the email, Prause attacks Wilson personally, and mistakenly states that he did not ask for the study. He had, in fact, asked David Ley for it. The email:
From: Nicole Prause <nprause@________>
Dear Mr. Wilson,
It is illegal for you to misrepresent our science having never even requested a copy of the manuscript. It will be treated as such. Our article actually is very balanced. Unlike you, I have peer-reviewed publications on both sides of this issue. You have attempted to discredit it by describing things that were not done. I am pursuing this with Psychology Today now, but I would advise you to remove the post yourself before I am forced to pursue further action.
You also do not have permission to quote any portion of this email. It is private communication.
Sell your books on your own merit. Don’t try to make money off the backs of scientists doing their jobs. I can tell this study clearly panics you because the design and data are strong, but it is egregious to have not even asked for a copy of the manuscript and just make up content. Shame on you.
Nicole Prause, PhD
In addition, Psychology Today editors forwarded a second email from Prause:
Date: April 10, 2013 5:13:30 PM EDT
Topic: Comment on the Blogs
From: Nicole Prause, PhD <nprause@_____________
To whom it may concern:
I was surprised to see an article written about a study of mine by Gary Wilson on Psychology Today.
I have no problem with him representing his own views and interpretations of studies, but he does not and could not have had access to mine. It is under review and he never requested a copy from any of the authors. I notified him that it should be removed. He has not yet done so. Of course, once it is public record, he will have access to it and be able to represent it (hopefully) more accurately.
Of course, knowingly misrepresenting a person to denigrate them is illegal. I hope Psychology Today will take this matter seriously. I will contact other board members as well, in case your cue is full and may take longer to respond.
Thank you for your help in resolving this matter.
Nicole Prause, PhD
At the same time, Prause posted this comment under Gary Wilson’s Psychology Today post:
Study not requested nor reviewed
Submitted by Nicole Prause, PhD on April 10, 2013 – 1:54pm.
Unfortunately, these authors never requested access to our manuscript, so they actually did not review it. They have made a number of egregious errors misrepresenting the science in this article. I am investigating who to contact to remove this article given the lack of due diligence by the authors.
We are now using this as our course example of the misrepresentation of science in the media now, though, so thank you for that opportunity.
The groundless legal threats, false claims, and playing the victim begin in her very first contact with Wilson. Nothing Prause says is true:
- Wilson did not describe Prause’s study or misrepresent it in any way. He only responded to Ley’s description of the study. Read Ley’s and Wilson’s blog posts and judge for yourself.
- To this day Prause has yet to refute a single word in Wilson’s March, 2013 Psychology Today post, or the analysis Wilson wrote in July after her EEG study finally was published. Nor has Prause refuted a single word in five peer-reviewed critiques of her 2013 EEG: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
- Wilson makes no money off of this endeavor.
- Wilson asked for a copy of the study (Prause refused to supply it).
- Prause initiated all contact with Wilson.
Wilson’s email response to Nicole Prause:
On Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 3:14 PM, gary wilson <> wrote:
I commented under your comment. Have a look.
We make no money on this. My website has no advertising and we accept no donations. We have no services to sell. I have no book to sell. My wife’s book, which appears on PT, is not about porn.
If you want to be truly fair, please send us the full study and give us permission to blog about it – as you did with Dr. Ley.
I’ll be anticipating your study,
April 12, 2013
Two days later Prause contacted Wilson again threatening further legal action. She somehow tracked down one of Wilson’s comments on the porn-recovery site Your Brain Rebalanced. It was posted on a long thread about David Ley’s original blog post. Wilson’s comment was meant to explain why both Ley’s and Wilson’s Psychology Today posts had been removed by Psychology Today. This signaled Prause’s pattern of cyberstalking, as a not even a Google search could locate that post. How did Prause know about this thread on a porn recovery forum?
The Prause email:
Nicole Prause (nprause@_______)
Dear Mr. Wilson,
In your post: http://yourbrainrebalanced.com/index.php?topic=7522.50
You falsely claim: “I responded to her rather nasty emails with a request to see her study, and she refused.”
This is libel. Please remove this post or I will follow up with legal action.
On Fri, Apr 12, 2013 at 11:09 AM, gary wilson <> wrote:
Dear Nicole Prause,
Maybe you didn’t know that my wife is a graduate of Yale law school. I said nothing libelous. In fact, my statements are quite accurate.
1) You have refused to hand over your unpublished study.
2) You were nasty and threatening, as you are now.
3) In addition, you falsely stated that I make money from guys struggling to recover from porn addiction.
4) You also mischaracterized my PT post, as it was a clear response to David Ley’s description of your unpublished study. You chose not correct Ley’s description or make the full study available to me, even when I asked about it in the comment section one month ago.
You have yet to answer my original questions (posed in the comments section):
1) Why did you release your study to only David Ley? As the author of the “Myth of Sex Addiction,” and someone who claims porn addiction cannot exist, why was only he the only Chosen One?
2) Why haven’t you corrected David Ley’s interpretation of your study? It has been up for over a month, and you’ve commented twice on it in the last month.
3) You commented under Ley’s post one month ago. I immediately posted a comment under you comment, with several specific questions directed to you about your study. That was your chance to both respond and offer the study. You did neither. Why?
I’m fine with making our exchange public. Won’t it be interesting when you file a lawsuit against a couple of PT bloggers who dare to take on your research?
Prause emails again with more crazy claims & legal threats [Note: Neither Wilson nor his wife ever initiated contact with Prause. She is the one who repeatedly contacted them and threatened them with groundless legal action.]
From: nprause@_________ Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2013 15:01:09 -0700
Subject: Re: [PT] Inquiry via Psychology Today
This is to notify both you and your wife that your (both you and your wife’s) contact is unwanted. Per stalking statutes in your home state (http://courts.oregon.gov/Lane/Restraining.page), any additional harassing contact will be interpreted as actionable harassment.
You do not have my permission to share this private communication in any forum.
Wilson sends his final email to Prause, to set the record straight: that she is the one initiating all contact and the only person making threats (and false claims):
To: nprause Subject: RE: [PT] Inquiry via Psychology Today
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2013 15:44:12 -0700
Dear Nicole Prause,
Harassment? I have not initiated one email exchange with you, including this one.
The first, initiated by you on 4/10/13, where you had the last email. And the one below, where you are trying to create a false impression that someone is harassing you, when in fact you are threatening me for the second time.
You are also the one who contacted Psychology Today’s editor to interfere with my blog post. My wife has had no contact with you whatsover.
We do not need your permission.
The end of the beginning with Nicole Prause.
Late July, 2013: Prause publishes her EEG study. Wilson critiques it. Prause employs multiple usernames to post lies around the Web
In late July 2013 Prause’s EEG study (Steele et al., 2013) was finally published. It arrived with much press coverage, including this Prause Interview by a Psychology Today blogger: New Brain Study Questions Existence of “Sexual Addiction.” A few days later Gary Wilson published his detailed analysis of Steele et al., 2013 and Prause’s claims put forth in the above interview and elsewhere. Wilson posted it on his Psychology Today blog as Nothing Correlates With Nothing In SPAN Lab’s New Porn Study. Incidentally, Psychology Today, apparently in response to Prause’s threats, ultimately unpublished not only Wilson’s critique of this study, but also the critiques of two professional experts in the field who wrote about the study’s weaknesses.
Ultimately, Prause’s findings and claims in the media were re-analyzed and critiqued repeatedly by various other experts and by five peer-reviewed papers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. All five papers agree with Gary Wilson’s analysis that Steele et al. actually supports the porn addiction model, and that Prause misrepresented her findings to the press. Prause’s two claims versus the study’s actual findings:
1) Prause claimed that subjects “brains did not respond like other addicts”.
Reality: The study had no control group for comparison. More importantly, the study reported higher EEG readings (relative to neutral pictures) when subjects were briefly exposed to pornographic photos. Studies consistently show that an elevated P300 occurs when addicts are exposed to cues (such as images) related to their addiction (see more).
2) Prause suggested that her subjects simply had “high sexual desire”.
Reality: In line with the Cambridge University brain scan studies, Steele et al. reported greater cue-reactivity (higher EEG readings) to porn correlating with less desire for partnered sex. To put another way – individuals with greater brain activation to porn would rather masturbate to porn than have sex with a real person. Prause claimed that porn users merely had “high libido”, yet the results of the study say the exact opposite: their desire for partnered sex was dropping in relation to their porn use (see more).
With her unsupported claims exposed by Gary Wilson, John A. Johnson PhD and Don Hilton MD, Prause then resorted to behind the scenes maneuvering at Psychology Today, cyberstalking, and various forms of intimidation. To this day Prause and others continue to cite her work as “debunking the field,” without mentioning or offering any response to any of the formal criticism apart from ad hominem attacks on some of the authors.
Within a few days of publishing Wilson’s critique, various usernames began posting comments wherever Gary Wilson’s name appeared. The comments were all very similar in content and tone, falsely claiming that 1) Wilson had never taught anatomy & physiology or attended college, 2) Wilson stole a woman’s pictures and placed them on a porn site, 3) Wilson has a police report filed on him. In the beginning many comments posts were written by GaryWilson Stalker, GaryWilson IsAFraud, and a few other sock puppets. An example from under Wilson’s TEDx talk:
Of course the above is ludicrous, but the false claims about stolen “pictures on a porn site” and “a police report has been filed” incriminate Prause as the cyberstalker posting these and future comments. (A call to the Los Angeles police and the UCLA campus police revealed no such report in their systems.) Below is an example taken from Wilson’s YouTube inbox (7/26/13):
Key point: Both the cyberstalker and Nicole Prause have stated that Wilson “stole photos of a woman” and “had a police report on file for stealing these photos.”
1) “Photos stolen” “on a porn site”
Here’s the reality: Gary Wilson wrote this Psychology Today blog post about this Nicole Prause Psychology Today Interview (which contains a picture of Prause). Psychology Today required at least one picture (all of Wilson’s Psychology Today articles contained several pictures). Since this blog post was about Nicole Prause’s interview and her EEG study, it seemed appropriate to use a picture of Prause from a UCLA website. The picture that accompanied Wilson’s Psychology Today blog post was also used with this same article on YBOP.
The photo of Prause came from what Wilson reasonably assumed was a UCLA website – SPAN Lab – and it was apparently the photo Prause had chosen to represent herself. Everything about SPAN Lab’s website gave the impression it was owned and run by UCLA. At the bottom each SPAN Lab page was the following (Prause has recently forbidden the “Internet WayBack Machine” from showing SPAN Lab’s archive pages, so as to conceal this fact):
Copyright © 2007-2013 SPAN Lab, All Rights Reserved University of California, Department of Psychiatry, Los Angeles, CA 90024
A screenshot of the SPAN Lab front page from August, 2013:
It was unclear how Prause could be claiming copyright to a photo that was on a website that claimed its copyright was owned by UCLA. UCLA is a California state school answering to taxpayers. Presumably, its images are public. Many months later when Wilson wrote UCLA concerning Prause’s libelous PDF (below), UCLA stated that SPAN Lab was Prause’s site, and not on UCLA servers(!). Why did Prause misrepresent her website as being owned by UCLA? That was the first time Wilson learned this. Undisputed fact: Prause never contacted Wilson to request that her picture be removed from the blog post. Wilson knew nothing until Prause filed a DMCA request (below) and Wilson found the picture missing from the article critiquing Prause’s interview and study.
So, that’s the “stolen photo’s” claim: A single picture, selected by Prause herself, from (what appeared to be) a UCLA lab website was used in an article about a study published and promoted by UCLA & Nicole Prause. The “porn site” was YBOP, a claim that is laughable, as it is a porn recovery support website without x-rated content.
Addendum: Prause is now claiming in an AmazonAWS PDF that Wilson migrated the picture of Prause (and the associated article) to other servers. This is completely false. The picture of Prause accompanied a single critique that appeared on two separate websites, PornStudySkeptics and YourBrainOnPorn.com. These two identical articles have remained on those two websites since July, 2013: Article 1, Article 2. In her PDF Prause also claims that Wilson’s ISP told him that they would “close his website if he did it a fourth time.” This is fabricated nonsense.
2) “police report filed”
It’s been about 4 years and Wilson has never been contacted by the police (a call to the Los Angeles police department and the UCLA campus police revealed no such report in their systems). Although Prause has repeated this undocumented claim dozens of times, she has also failed to divulge what law Wilson supposedly violated.
Evidence directly connecting Prause to these many groundless comments about “stolen pictures” and “a police report.”
- Prause filed a DMCA take down of her SPAN Lab picture on July 21, 2013 – http://www.chillingeffects.org/dmca512c/notice.cgi?NoticeID=1091617 and the server removed it before Wilson saw the related email notices. Wilson removed the photo from its other location when asked via a second DMCA filing, even though UCLA, not Prause, appeared (as far as he could tell) to be the copyright owner.
- Prause has tweeted that she filed a police report on Wilson (see details below under “Prause & Ley attack NoFap founder Alexander Rhodes“). A call to the LAPD and UCLA campus police revealed no such report in their system.
- Nicole Prause published a PDF on her SPAN Lab website (more on this in the next section) with all the usual claims and lies echoing all the preceding comments. It also lied that:
“Wilson has been found guilty of stealing other people’s images”
Again, this was apparently a reference to the same picture that accompanied the Psychology Today post, and the Psychology Today post was about Prause’s interview on Psychology Today. It was the same picture she had chosen for the top of her SPAN Lab website (which falsely proclaimed it was a UCLA site).
To summarize July 2013:
- Dozens of comments containing false statements arrived a few days after Wilson published Nothing Correlates With Nothing In SPAN Lab’s New Porn Study.
- Most of these comments claimed that Wilson “stole” and placed Prause’s picture on a pornographic website.
- Prause never contacted Wilson about the picture.
- Prause filed a DMCA take down of her picture, which forced the company hosting YBOP to remove the picture without first contacting Gary Wilson.
- Similar groundless comments continue to be posted to this day (more below).
November 2013: Prause places a libelous PDF on her SPAN Lab website. Content mirrors “anonymous” comments around the Web
In November 2013, Nicole Prause placed a PDF on her SPAN Lab website attacking Gary Wilson (screenshot below). It contained several instances of libel. The PDF’s contents are very similar to hundreds of other comments that were posted by various usernames. Posts were written by GaryWilson Stalker, GaryWilson IsAFraud and other sock puppets. Such comments continue to this day on various recovery forums and other venues, posted with other usernames.
If there was ever any doubt as to who was actually behind these comments, the PDF puts an end to it. Gary Wilson contacted UCLA to report the PDF’s defamatory statements, as he still believed SPAN Lab was a UCLA website (at the time, SPAN Lab’s copyright was owned by UCLA and its address was within a UCLA building). UCLA acknowledged the existence of the PDF, and its subsequent removal in a letter. Its URL was – http://www.span-lab.com/WilsonIsAFraud.pdf.
How did Gary Wilson discover the above PDF? His Internet browser was redirected to the PDF when he visited the SPAN lab website (representing itself as a UCLA website). Knowing Wilson’s IP address, Prause made a habit of redirecting Wilson’s Internet browser to other URLs, such as porn sites or pictures of mutilated penises. This started before the PDF appeared, and continued after the PDF was removed. More evidence that Prause is likely the one responsible for cyberstalking events (only a small portion of which are detailed on this page). For example, two PDFs containing material nearly identical to Prause’s libelous PDF were uploaded onto DocStoc a few days after Wilson published his critique of Prause’s 2013 EEG study:
Contrary to claims the “documents” show nothing, except that Prause is the person who published both PDFs.
December 2013: Prause’s initial tweet is about Wilson & the CBC: “RealScience” posts same false claims on same day
On December 18. 2013 Nicole Prause’s maiden tweet for her new Twitter account was about Gary Wilson and a CBC interview. We can’t link to the tweet as Prause’s original Twitter account was permanently suspended for harassing Todd Love, PsyD, JD, whose review of the literature dared to criticize her work (more below). Prause’s original Twitter URL was https://twitter.com/NicolePrause/. If interested you can read Wilson’s response to the CBC here.
On December 18th & 19th “RealScience” posted several similar, equally misleading comments as the one below on sites that mentioned Gary Wilson (see several more posts on December 18th & 19th by “RealScience” or “Real Scientist”). Who else but Prause could be responsible for these posts, which entirely misrepresent the exchange with the CBC and its response to Wilson?
May 2014: Multiple sock puppets post information on YourBrainRebalanced.com that only Prause would know (many more examples)
The day the Max Planck study on porn users was published (suggesting that porn use may have measurable effects on the brain), four aliases including “touif” and “TrickyPaladin“ posted approximately 100 comments on YourBrainRebalanced.com. What’s left of their comments is here, as the troll deleted her comments within a few hours. Most of the touif and TrickyPaladin comments were either attacks on Wilson or meticulously detailed defenses of Prause’s 2013 EEG study. Below are few examples caught by a YBR member’s cell phone where TrickyPaladin and touif make detailed assertions about Steele et al., 2013 that only a handful of people could produce (and only Prause would care about):
I’ll ask, who (other than Prause herself) know details of a complex EEG study enough to attempt defense of it, or want to post 100 times on a porn recovery forum to defend it? (If you bothered to read the above comments, know that any and all such claims have been dismantled by this extensive critique, and five peer-reviewed papers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)
While Tricky (and other sock puppets) deleted most of her comments, she left a few describing a “yet to be published chapter by Prause” supposedly chronicling Gary Wilson’s evil deeds:
Who but Prause would know details of an unpublished chapter by Prause? The above comment is from May, 2014. The “upcoming” Prause chapter was in fact published 8 months later in this book – “New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics, and the Law.“ Of course, Prause did not identify Wilson in the chapter, as her claims of “horrible things” are fabricated nonsense.
As mentioned, sock puppets posting Prause-like comments continue to this day on porn recovery sites such as reddit/pornfree and reddit/nofap. Right from the beginning Prause had an odd habit of frequently creating usernames from 2-4 capitalized words (i.e. GaryWilsonStalker). The following reddit usernames were all created the day the comments appeared on r/pornfree and r/nofap. While the usernames and comments are often deleted by the sock puppet, a few examples with content remain:
Just a few examples of deleted reddit usernames who posted Prause-like comments:
And these are just the ones we happen to see when visiting r/pornfree and r/nofap to gather recovery accounts. In addition, many more such usernames and comments appeared on YourBrainRebalanced.com, but were deleted by the moderators.
Prause makes it no secret that she vehemently opposes the concepts of sex and porn addiction. In the summer of 2014 Prause placed the following notice on her SPAN Lab website. You can read for yourself that Prause is encouraging all individuals being treated for sex addiction to report their therapists to the state board (it contains a handy hyperlink):
This is unprofessional, and also unethical as both the DSM and the ICD permit reimbursable diagnoses for the disorder. In case anyone missed this, Prause followed it up with this tweet:
A month later Prause reminds us all again to report our local sex addiction therapist. It’s free and easy!
Prause doesn’t stop with tweets directed at a profession. She ups her game, falsely accusing psychotherapists of fraudulent therapy. Isn’t this rather reckless for a psychologist, especially given that (1) diagnoses of compulsive sexual behavior can be made using the World Health Organization’s ICD-10 and (2) Section F52.8 of the DSM itself recognizes the diagnostic validity of excessive sex drive as a valid, reimbursable disorder? In short, Prause is mistaken and behaving unethically.
Fall 2014: Documentation of Prause lying to film producers about Gary Wilson and Donald L. Hilton Jr., MD
Documentary producers forwarded the following email to Gary Wilson:
Re: Documentary on porn
I am open to chatting with you, but I should probably clarify two items.
First, I do believe, and have published, some negative effects of sex films. It is fair to say that I do not believe it is addicting. If it is useful to you to have a scientist who can talk about both the benefits and possible problems with sex films, I am probably best-suited to that type of role.
Second, I am not willing to be placed in opposition to Gary Wilson, Marnia Robinson, or Don Hilton. None of these individuals are scientists, and all have attacked me personally, making it unsafe for me to be put in a direct confrontation with them. For example, they claimed that I was secretly funded by pornography, falsified my data, and wrote me and my university chancellor many times trying to harass me at home and work. If you were considering these individuals, I would be happy to get you in touch with some actual scientists who support that sex films can lead to addiction. These individuals, in my opinion, would be scraping the bottom of the barrel for a film.
I realize this information may be in direct opposition to your desire to have free artistic reign, so I understand if I might not be useful to your film given this information. Regardless, best of luck with your project!
Nicole Prause, Ph.D.
Associate Research Scientist
University of California, Los Angeles
Prause is once again lying. As addressed below, Wilson never said that Prause had “falsified her data” or that she was “funded by the pornography.” While Gary Wilson wrote UCLA chronicling Prause’s harassment and cyberbullying (see below), he never attempted to contact Prause directly at home or at work. (In reality, it is Prause who initiated all direct contact with Gary Wilson as documented in the first section.) Donald Hilton Jr. MD confirmed that he has never attempted to contact Nicole Prause or UCLA, nor did he say what Prause claims in the above email.
Key point: There is reason to believe that this behind-the-scenes defamation of Wilson and others is standard procedure for Prause. See further example relating to TIME magazine and Gabe Deem below. Note how Prause tries to control who is being interviewed by stating that she is not willing “to be placed in opposition to Gary Wilson or Don Hilton”.
January, 2015: “The Prause Chapter” described 9 months earlier by a YourBrainRebalanced.com troll is finally published
[To recap, a YourBrainRebalanced troll (TrickyPaladin) posted 50 comments or more on the same day the JAMA fMRI study on porn users was published (affirming that porn users’ brains show measurable changes correlating with time/years of use). Most of TrickyPaladin’s comments were either attacks on Wilson or meticulously detailed (attempted) defenses of Prause’s 2013 EEG study. While Tricky deleted most of her comments, she left a few saying a chapter in an upcoming book would detail horrible things done by Wilson.]
The book and chapter now arrive: “New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics, and the Law.” The chapter in question (“The Science and Politics of Sex Addiction Research.”) is authored by Nicole Prause and Timothy Fong. It consists mostly of a discussion of the appropriate “model” for understanding compulsive pornography use. Only two paragraphs are devoted to Prause’s undocumented and unsupported claims of being harassed. The most outlandish claim is that “individuals mapped routes to the laboratory address.” In other words, Prause is claiming that Google maps told her when people were searching for her lab’s address. Of course Prause did not name Wilson or anyone else in her chapter.
- Key point: Knowing the details of an unpublished chapter 9 months before it is published incriminates Prause as TrickyPaladin. As do the meticulously detailed comments defending Prause’s flawed 2013 EEG study.
The chapter also implicates Prause as GaryWilson Stalker, GaryWilson IsAFraud and the many other aliases posting diatribes right after Wilson’s critique was published. The claims in those posts and the PDF are identical to these two found in Prause’s chapter:
- Prause had “photographs stolen“
- “Some individuals repeatedly emailed her after we had requested contact to stop… resulting in a police report”
Both claims are aimed at Wilson, and both are false.
[As explained above, here’s the reality behind each claim:
1) “Photos stolen”
A single picture, selected by Prause herself, from (what appeared to be) a UCLA lab website was used in an article about a study published and promoted by UCLA & Nicole Prause. The “porn site” was YBOP, a preposterous claim, as it is a porn recovery support website without x-rated content.
2) “Individuals repeatedly emailing me….police report filed”
Police Report: Wilson has never been contacted by the police. A call to the Los Angeles police department and UCLA campus police revealed no such report in their system.
Email Claim: It was Prause who initiated all contact with Wilson after he wrote a Psychology Today blog post. Prause’s harassing emails contained threats and false statements, and it was Prause who continued to harass Wilson. See above.]
In the chapter Prause also stated:
“Noticeably absent from these attacks are published critiques from any scientist.”
Contrary to Prause’s claim 12 peer-reviewed critiques of her studies have been published:
- Steele et al., 2013 – paper 1, paper 2, paper 3, paper 4, paper 5
- Prause et al., 2015 – paper 1, paper 2, paper 3, paper 4, paper 5, paper 6
- Prause & Pfaus, 2015 – paper 1
In the chapter Prause made this pronouncement:
“The research was never stopped by these attempts.”
As for Prause’s research at UCLA never stopping, it’s important to note that UCLA chose not to renew Prause’s employment contract (although she continued to claim publicly that she was still a UCLA researcher employed at the medical school). Prause hasn’t been employed by UCLA or any other university since late 2014 or early 2015.
David Ley and Nicole Prause team up again. This time falsely accusing sex addiction therapists of practicing reparative therapy or conversion therapy. It started with Ley publishing “Homosexuality is Not an Addiction” which not so subtly, falsely accused members of IITAP and SASH of trying to turn their gay clients straight. (In response to complaints, Ley was later forced to alter the post and Psychology Today eventually deleted the comments.)
Prause tweeted the Ley post:
Prause was the first to comment, falsely accusing IITAP of harboring reparative therapists, and claiming to have emailed IITAP the names of the accused. While Prause’s comments were later deleted, she commented a few weeks later groundlessly accusing (gay!!) therapist Michael J. Salas of practicing reparative therapy as follows:
Having received no response to her groundless accusations, Prause “outed” Salas as a reparative therapist. She took a sentence out of context, hoping no one would actually visit his website. On his website, however, readers discover that Salas specializes in therapy for the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender community. He is a member the “Texas Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling”, Salas also states:
“For clients who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, I provide LGBT Affirming Therapy. There is no such thing as changing someone’s sexual orientation”
It doesn’t end there. On November 22, 2015 Psychology Today blogger Joe Kort published “Why I Am No Longer a Sex-Addiction Therapist,” which created a brouhaha on all fronts. Nicole Prause immediately commented about her email exchanges with IITAP (Prause mistakenly called the organization CSAT, which is IITAP’s certification):
Submitted by Nicole prause on November 23, 2015 – 6:21pm
On submitting specific names and concerns, CSAT did not respond. After pressed with three queries and by other professionals they responded that te allegations were false. They provided no investigative process. For this writer to inquire would change nothing and make him yet another target of that community. I would discourage anyone from tangling with a group with no intention of addressing its problems.
I am happy to share the emails with you privately. They were disgusting to me as a licensed psychologist too.
Actually, any investigation shows her claims were completely false. Click on the link to Prause’s comment and you see no replies. That’s because Joe Kort deleted all comments challenging Prause, leaving her fabrications unchallenged. We have reproduced those (now) deleted comments below. The first 2 comments have CSAT Michelle Saffier asking Prause for data, and Prause responding:
The 3 Prause “complaints” were nothing more than cyberstalking. Michelle Saffier received no data or emails from Prause. The next comment challenging Prause was posted by anonymous:
Again, Joe Kort deleted the comments challenging Prause, while allowing Prause’s defamatory claims to remain. Kort’s actions drew a Twitter response, and an unsatisfactory response (Joe Kort later deleted his Twitter replies to Michelle and others). Joe Kort’s deletion of comments drew yet another comment under his blog post (since deleted).
Joe Kort closed all comments and deleted the above comment. Prause’s comment remains unchallenged to this day. Prause continues her unsupported and libelous claims concerning CSAT therapists. For example, this March, 2016 Tweet with compatriot David Ley.
Another CSAT therapist using “sex addiction” as a justification for reparative therapy.
#IITAP stop supporting now.
It is, predictably, entirely untrue.
OTHERS – March, 2015 (ongoing): Prause and her sock puppets (including “PornHelps”) go after Gabe Deem
Gabe Deem recovered from severe porn-induced ED by quitting internet porn use. He now runs Reboot Nation and occasionally appears on TV and radio to discuss his and other men’s experiences with porn-induced sexual dysfunctions. In May, 2015 Gabe published a detailed critique of the Nicole Prause and Jim Pfaus paper, “Viewing Sexual Stimuli Associated with Greater Sexual Responsiveness, Not Erectile Dysfunction.” Everything in Gabe’s page is accurate, documented, and unassailable. Gabe’s critique aligns with a Letter to the Editor of the journal where the paper appeared, by Richard A. Isenberg MD, though it provides more details about the Prause paper’s glaring discrepancies and unsupported statements.
A long debate ensued when user “FapSlap” posted the Prause & Pfaus paper on reddit/nofap. Prause-apologist “FapSlap” (who appears to be a researcher) eventually claimed to contact Nicole Prause looking for ammunition to defend the Prause paper. Here’s FapSlap’s comment confirming not only his/her email exchanges with Prause, but a future response to her critics:
Really don’t care if you believe me or not. You can email her yourself. http://i.imgur.com/3xjtBph.png
Of course you will probably say ‘fake is fake.’ But believe me it’s not. Out of respect I am not posting the conversation. You will have proof soon enough for the journal, trust me And I will be quite happy to see your ‘bullet in the barrel’ critique be thrown out the window.
Actually, he did just write me and he is correct. We collected the full IIEF in many studies in which we do not ultimately publish the data. Sometimes we choose not to, sometimes reviewers tell us to remove them because they are not relevant.
We are publishing a follow-up letter in the journal to show all the counts remain correct. All the analyses remain correct. The conclusions stand.
I will not be responding to any follow-up posts. I posted here only out of compassion, because you are lying to this poor person. Wait for the letter. It is to appear in April and will dispel all the myths RebootNation is propagating to the poor people they are using to fund their speaking travel and fees and false “counselor” titles.
The promised response did not address any of Isenberg’s concerns (as pointed out subsequently by Deem) and merely added new unsupported claims and untrue statements. Prause also falsely states that Gabe (RebootNation) is lying and that he makes money from RebootNation and speaking fees. While none of this is true, these same exact claims soon appear again via “PornHelps” and several r/pornfree sock puppet user names.
On March 31, 2016, the TIME cover story featuring Gabe, and other men who had recovered from porn-induced sexual problems, was published. On April 1 the following post by TruthWithOut appeared on reddit/pornfree: Gabe Deem admits profiting of NoFAP Reboot Nation. The original post, the “TruthWithOut” username, and a few of her comments, were later deleted (though most of her comments remained). The original post, claiming TIME had “outed” the nefarious Deem:
The reddit/pornfree moderator “Iguanaforhire” recognizes the sock puppet has previously posted the same false content:
It doesn’t. Person made a new account just to bother us. Again.
You can read TruthWithOut’s remaining comments and see the same false claims repeated over and over: 1) Gabe is lying about everything, 2) he never had ED, 3) he makes money from both RebootNation and speaking fees, and, 4) he’s unemployed. All untrue. One example:
And I’m waiting on that evidence Gabe. ANY shred of evidence that you are not just lying. No one has seen anything validating any part of your story. Not your supposed girlfriend, no doctor, no one. You could easily provide it, but you haven’t.
You are just taking trips and money from guys you stir into a panic with your made up tales.
The facts? The TIME Magazine article incorrectly stated that Gabe Deem made money through speaking fees. While this is not true (and was later publicly corrected by TIME), TruthWithOut used this journalistic error to launch an attack, claiming a series of lies. A few days later Deem tweeted the correction from the print version of TIME Magazine. (TIME formally acknowledged that it had erred in saying that Deem makes money from his activities connected with RebootNation.) End of story. Nonetheless, several other Prause sock puppets posted similar allegations (that “Deem lied about everything“) on Reddit/pornfree and elsewhere. A few examples:
It seems SoManyMalts is upset. We have yet another Prause sock puppet (AskingForProof) posting this:
On yet another r/pornfree thread started by Prause sock puppet DontDoDallas (Deem resides in Dallas):
Speaking of lies, the above Newsweek article never mentioned Gary Wilson or YBOP.
As outlined later, evidence suggests that Prause shares the @pornhelps twitter account with others and created the PornHelps Disqus username.(@pornhelps later deleted their twitter account when outed as Prause) Below is a PornHelps Disqus comment published around the same time as the r/pornfree lie “Gabe Deem admits profiting”:
Look everybody! It’s Gabe Deem back again reposting anti-sex rants again and puppeting his own upvoted post! You might remember him from the Reason post where he was shredded for posting this anti-science message with links back to his own website. He has no college degree, no job, and is paid (see Time article) for speaking about his erectile problems he claims (with no doctors’ evidence) were “due” to porn.
I know I know, you are going to repost a long list of links hoping no one actually follows them and knows the truth, but this is it. And I’m not engaging further. Hopefully the folks form the previous time you did this will find your posts again Gabe Deem.
PornHelps references the TIME article, making the same false claims as the many Reddit sock puppets. This is no coincidence. Below you will see that Prause as Prause (i.e., using her own name) called TIME journalist Luscombe and NoFap.com founder Alexander Rhodes ‘liars’ and ‘fakers’.
OTHERS – September, October 2015: Prause’s original Twitter account permanently suspended for harassment
Nicole Prause’s Twitter account – https://twitter.com/NicolePrause – was permanently suspended shortly after she violated Twitter’s rules by (twice) posting the personal information of one of the authors of this paper “Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update” (2015). The paper critiqued Prause’s two EEG studies on porn users: Critique 1, Critique 2.
Immediately after Prause’s Twitter account was suspended, this defamatory post appeared on reddit/pornfree, attacking Gary Wilson, Gabe Deem, the author of the above paper, and others. Three newly created usernames commented most. Two usernames were later deleted, but EvidenceForYouremained. Several comments suggest Nicole Prause is the author of these comments – most notably by stating that lawyers are now involved, or that Wilson is about to be sued:
Link – Gary Wilson, they have your IP and all the records courtesy of a subpoena. We’re not chasing these new lies too, just going to stop the one’s you have already been telling. Prepare to file for bankruptcy again.
Link – When they cannot fight the science, they fight the person. They fail, so they spread false rumors that are currently the subject of a lawsuit. This proves it.
Link – For example, in reviewing a (non-existent) critique, they claim the scientist is no longer employed: http://yourbrainonporn.com/our-response-rory-reids-critique-nicole-prause-study This, by the way, is a recent update (seeing these posts and panicking Gary? Too late, we already sent her attorney the screen shots.) watered down from the earlier “fired”.
A week or two later (October 15, 2015) Gary Wilson received a ‘cease and desist’ letter from a lawyer representing Nicole Prause. It stated that Gary Wilson had made four false and misleading statements about Prause. Of course, all four were untrue (such as Wilson saying that “Prause starred in porn films”….unbelievable!). Wilson responded with a letter stating all were false, and asked for proof of these claims (reproduced later on this page). There was no response by the lawyer or by Prause. Just another example of Prause’s continued pattern of harassment while simultaneously playing the victim.
John Adler MD, who is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Cureus, wrote a blog post about his harassment at the hands of Nicole Prause and David Ley and their cronies: Intellectual Fascism. In it Adler describes behaviors we have come to expect from Prause & Ley:
Two individuals, whose specialty overlapped the erroneous article [Prause and Ley], attacked the article for its political misstatement, and by extension, Cureus’ journalistic integrity for missing this error during our pre-publication review process.
I immediately invited these critics to set the record straight via our liberal comment and scoring processes, but in a series of personal (and necessarily confidential) emails, the critics refused, insisting on remaining anonymous. Over the next several days they recruited a chorus of similarly-minded colleagues who insisted that the article in question represented serious scientific misconduct and demanded it be retracted… period!
… In parallel, I stumbled upon the existence of a listserv community of likeminded researchers including the two critics, whose major modus operandi is to fiercely act en-mass, hyena-like, oftentimes via social media, when certain partisan political issues arise, such as the article Cureus had unwittingly published.
If ever I witnessed intellectual fascism, this was it; the only thing missing was a goose-stepping mustached man….
By the way, we know he is talking about Ley and Prause because 1) both Ley and Prause engaged in a Twitter storm against Adler prior to his post appearing (we have tweets by Adler, but Prause’s tweets are unavailable because her
@NicolePrause account was eventually permanently suspended due to her misconduct). 2) David Ley posted all about this on a sexology listserve.
The above is entirely false as Prause’s Twitter account was permanently suspended for posting the personal information of one of the authors of this paper “Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review and Update” (2015). Trip Adler had nothing to do with it, as Prause caused it herself. The logical conclusion is that Prause fed Melissa Hill this false story. It seems they are friends. Prause has appeared on Melissa Hill’s radio show several times, and Prause re-tweeted a photo of her and Hill together on the red carpet of the Adult Video awards. A few weeks later Prause’s new Twitter account promised an upcoming news story about her permanent suspension.
The promised story has yet to appear, and Prause has given no formal explanation for her permanent Twitter suspension.
OTHERS – March, 2016: Prause (falsely) tells TIME Magazine that Gabe Deem impersonated a doctor to write a formal critique of her study (letter to the editor) in an academic journal (and the letter was traced to Gabe’s computer).
On March 31, 2016, the TIME cover story (“Porn and the Threat to Virility”), by Belinda Luscombe, featuring Gabe Deem, Nicole Prause and many others, was published. It was a year in the making and TIME had the author and other TIME employees (fact checkers) follow-up on claims made by each person interviewed. In the process, TIME fact-checkers presented Gabe Deem with a final set of questions for him to confirm or to deny.
One fact to confirm or to deny was an allegation put forth by Nicole Prause. Prause had told TIME that Gabe Deem had impersonated a medical doctor to write the above letter to the editor of an academic journal (described above) critiquing a paper the journal had published by Prause & Pfaus. Below are snapshots from TIME‘s email to Gabe. They include the email intro and the allegation from Prause, but omit other, unrelated questions:
The Intro to the email:
The last of many questions in the email:
Richard A. Isenberg, a medical doctor and author of multiple academic papers, specializing in Uro-Gynecology, is the one who wrote the critique (A letter to the editor), which was published in “Sexual Medicine Open Access,” the same journal that published Nicole Prause and Jim Pfaus’s paper, “Viewing Sexual Stimuli Associated with Greater Sexual Responsiveness, Not Erectile Dysfunction.” Since Gabe also wrote a critique of the same paper, Prause appears to be accusing Gabe of writing Isenberg’s critique as well! More astonishing still, Prause claimed that UCLA had traced the Isenberg critique to Gabe Deem’s computer. Of course, no evidence was supplied to back up any of these unbelievable assertions.
How likely is it that UCLA would hack the computers of men recovering from porn-induced ED? The thing that makes Prause’s claim about UCLA particularly unstable is that Isenberg’s Letter to the Editor was published 6 months after UCLA did not renew Prause’s employment contract – and yet she claims UCLA was engaging in cyber-espionage on her behalf! All this reveals just how far Prause is willing to go. And unlike much of her unscrupulous behavior this attempt at defamation is documented by a third party (TIME magazine’s staff).
OTHERS – June, 2016: Prause and her sock puppet PornHelps claim respected neuroscientists are members of “anti-porn groups” and “their science is bad”
Nicole Prause, a Kinsey grad, in a tweet about this study posted for commentary (since published in Neuropsychopharmacology), falsely claimed that its 9 researchers (including top researchers in the addiction neuroscience field) were members of “anti-porn groups,” and that their new study was “bad science.” Prause’s tweet (pictured here) appeared on the same page as the study (Can pornography be addictive? An fMRI study of men seeking treatment for problematic pornography use), but was later deleted.
As usual her claims are preposterous. First, it’s an excellent study, now formally published despite all the incomprehensible resistance. Second, its authors received first prize for this very research at the European Society for Sexual Medicine conference in 2016. Third, the authors have no affiliation with Prause’s imaginary “anti-porn groups” (which Prause never names).
For example, the lead author is Dr. Mateusz Gola, who is visiting scholar at UC San Diego, and has 39 publications to his name. Another author is Marc Potenza MD, PhD, of Yale University, who is considered by many to be one of the world’s preeminent addiction researchers (way out of Prause’s league). A PubMed search returns over 350 studies by Dr. Potenza.
As Matuesz Gola explained to “PornHelps” in the comments section, BioRxiv (where Prause found it) exists for pre-publication papers, and functions to elicit feedback from researchers in order to improve papers. It should be noted that “PornHelps’s” comments and Prause’s tweet appeared at the same time. Coincidence?
It’s clear that Prause is disturbed by any neurological study lending scientific support to the porn addiction model (all do). But there’s more to this story. Matuesz Gola also published a formal critique of Prause et al., 2015, which explained that Prause’s findings align with two established addiction models (3 reviews of the literature agree with Gola) – contradicting Prause’s claim (that she had disproved (or, as she likes to say publicly, “falsified”) the addiction model with her single paper).
Marc Potenza was coauthor of the 2014 Cambridge University study that analyzed Prause’s flawed 2013 EEG study. In interviews Prause incorrectly claimed her findings didn’t align with the addiction model. In the Cambridge fMRI study, Potenza and 10 other neuroscientists explained why Prause was mistaken. Perhaps her attack on Gola & Potenza study was attempted pay-back for daring to point out the flaws in her conclusions.
Addendum: Is Prause tweeting for Porn Helps? Porn Helps later tweets that she has “15 years studying as neuroscientist”:
Perhaps. Prause, a Kinsey grad, calls herself a neuroscientist, and appears to have started college about 15 years ago. More on @pornhelps below. (Update – @pornhelps later deleted their twitter account and website when it became apparent to others that Prause often tweeted with this account and helped with the website)
Upset that Alexander Rhodes’s story was published in the NY Times, Ley and Prause attack Rhodes on Twitter. How ethical is it for psychologists to personally attack individuals trying to remove porn from their lives and recover? Ley has a history of attacking Rhodes and NoFap, and harrassing young men trying to quit porn. Rhodes eventually responded with this tweet:
Instead of apologizing, Prause accuses Rhodes of fabricating his porn-induced sexual problems.
Not sure what science Prause is “standing by,” but Rhodes responded with Wilson’s YBOP page containing 28 studies linking porn use to sexual problems and lower sexual satisfaction. Unable to address the science, Prause tweeted:
You mean the unemployed blogger who has a police report threatening my lab and no-contact order for harassment?
Prause did not name Wilson, so she may be off the hook, legally speaking. All claims are false as Wilson has 1) never been contacted by the police, 2) never threatened her lab, 3) is not under any “no-contact order” except threats from Prause herself after Prause harassed him. This tweet once again incriminates Prause as the individual responsible for the many defamatory comments described in the first section.
Prause ended it all as she usually does: citing no evidence and tweeting Rhodes “I sent you documentation. Do not contact me again.” That’s Nicole Prause’s MO: Initiate a personal attack, follow it up with lies, then end it all by playing the victim. By the way, Prause sent no such documentation. Yet another lie.
Others were watching the Twitter storm, which led to an article detailing it, and more Prause tweets attacking yet another person (below). Meanwhile, consider the fact that it is a violation of APA (American Psychological Association) principles for psychologists to attack those trying to recover.
OTHERS – July, 2016: Prause falsely accuses @PornHelp.org of harassment, libel, and promoting hate
The day after the above Alexander Rhodes/Nicole Prause dustup, @PornHelpdotorg published a blog post detailing the events: “Reflections on a Twitter Skirmish,” and tweeted it to Rhodes, Prause, and David Ley. This set off another Twitter conversation, which you can read in entirety here. Prause’s first response once again claims documentation:
@PornHelpdotorg @DrDavidLey – threatening the personal safety of scientists is no debate, & I have all the documentation. You now promote it.
Prause has never provided documentation of any threats to scientists’s personal safety. @PornHelpdotorg responded:
@NicoleRPrause – Examining the public comments you made on Twitter is not promotion of any such thing. Our blog post makes that very clear
Prause calls him “the harasser,” and says his post is false, libelous, and promotes hate:
@PornHelpdotorg – The harasser clearly disagrees. Your post is false, libelous, and not researched. Promotes hate
Prause is asked to explain what about the article is false and libelous:
@NicoleRPrause – Please explain what you find false and libelous about our post. We take accusations like that seriously.
Of course Prause cannot, and falls back on her usual – legal threats:
@PornHelpdotorg – apparently you don’t. I’ll have my attorney get in touch.
(This did not happen.) PornHelp asks again for specifics. Even offers an offline conversation:
@NicoleRPrause – Are you refusing to explain what you find false and libelous? We would be happy to communicate with you offline about this.
Prause responds as she often does:
@PornHelpdotorg – do not contact me again by any means.
Once again Prause performs her usual dance: Start with false unsupported claims. When asked to support the claims, she cannot. Finally, Prause resorts to legal threats, instead of the requested documentation or examples.
OTHERS – July, 2016: Prause & PornHelps attack Alexander Rhodes, falsely claiming he faked porn-induced sexual problems
Evidence points to Prause sharing the @pornhelps twitter account and using the PornHelps disqus username. As described above, Prause published (then deleted) a bizarre tweet about this Matuesz Gola study. PornHelps simultaneously commented under the Gola study using the jargon of a researcher. In addition, the following @pornhelps tweets arise from Los Angeles, where Prause lives. (Update – @pornhelps later deleted their twitter account and website as it became apparent that Prause often tweeted with this account)
This was followed by @pornhelps calling both Alexander and Belinda liars. @NicoleRPrause eventually chimed in to call TIME journalist Luscombe a liar (more in the next section). The back and forth contains too many tweets to post here, but most can be found in these threads: Thread 1, Thread 2, Thread 3. Below is a sampling of @pornhelps’s unstable-sounding tweets falsely claiming that Alexander faked his story of porn-induced sexual problems:
- @luscombeland @nytimes “Brave”? Faking a problem to promote his business? You failed to verify any part of his story
- @GoodGuypervert @luscombeland exaggerating makes them money, esp in his case. These guys are mostly unemployed, no college…got $$$ somehow
- @AlexanderRhodes & @luscombeland are creating fake panic to sell their wares. Disgusting.
- @AlexanderRhodes @luscombeland @GoodGuypervert uh-oh, he’s gone full ad-hominem BC he got caught faking to make money off young scared men.
- @AlexanderRhodes @luscombeland @GoodGuypervert then I await your proof that any of your claims actually happened to you, fake profiteer.
Pornhelps responds, seeing if a lie will stick:
@luscombeland @GoodGuypervert – I heard you got blackballed for false reporting
@pornhelps @GoodGuypervert – news to me. My balls still the same old color, last I checked.
Pornhelps tries again:
@luscombeland @GoodGuypervert – at the risk of going full-Trump, let’s see how easy it is for U to get gold scientists to talk to u
Belinda, who has been a senior editor at TIME for 20 years, sets Pornhelps straight:
@pornhelps @GoodGuypervert – Well, one did yesterday, I guess because shutting down debate isn’t helpful, esp. when intelligent minds disagree
Eventually Prause’s “NicoleRPrause” Twitter account chimes in calling Luscombe a liar (below). Hmm…how did @NicoleRPrause know about this Twitter thread? Another bit of evidence suggesting Nicole Prause masquerades as @pornhelps.
In this same Twitter thread Pornhelps tweeted about a just published David Ley interview of Nicole Prause.
In the Ley interview Prause claims to have unpublished data falsifying any connection between “porn addiction” and penile injures (Prause also said she will never publish the data). It’s important to know that both Prause and Pornhelps had been saying that Alexander lied about his masturbation-induced penile injury and porn-induced sexual problems.
Is it any coincidence that 3 days after multiple @pornhelps tweets called Alexander a liar, Ley and Prause publish a Psychology Today blog post directed at one of Alexander’s complaints (that he injured his penis from excessive masturbation)? Interestingly, their own data apparently showed that a fifth of those surveyed had experienced similar injuries. But again, Prause refuses to publish the data, while claiming her data somehow (inexplicably) prove that Alexander must be a liar. In any case Prause’s blog claims remain unsupported as she did not assess “porn addiction” or compulsive porn use in her subjects (read the comments section of Ley’s post).
UPDATE: September, 2016. Prause tweets, calling Alexander Rhodes a liar
@newscientist calls out fake: “The site has been criticised for exaggerating–front page promises people superpowers”
UPDATE 2: September, 2016. Prause tweets, calling Rhodes goofy and falsely claims he is profiting
Elated to have @Neuro_Skeptic call out this goofiness/profiteering
UPDATE 3: December 12, 2016. Prause falsely claims that @Nofap drove gay teen to suicidal feelings (also calls Alexander Rhodes an “anti-porn profiteer”). Prause’s tweet linked to a radio show about Jehovah Witnesses and sex abuse, which contained a segment about a 14-year old gay teen whose mom found his stash of porn magazines. Since being gay is against JW doctrine, the church insisted the gay teen no longer masturbate to images of men. The gay teen was driven to thoughts of suicide because he was a homosexual stuck in the JW facing the very real prospect of being tossed out of the church and shunned by his family and friends. The radio segment did not mention NoFap. Here’s Prause’s tweet (notice that only David Ley liked it):
Prause’s twisted and libelous tweet attempting to smear NoFap in connection with an entirely unrelated event demonstrates just how far she is willing to stretch the truth in pursuit of her agenda. The NoFapTeam responded with 3 tweets:
Not so coincidentally, a rambling hit piece about NoFap, featuring Nicole Prause, was published a few days later by Medical Daily. Of course Prause tweeted it, saying “claims busted by scientists.” By “scientists” Prause means herself. This goes to show that Prause has many contacts in the media, and uses them to her advantage. Prause also called NoFap “woo woo and cult-like.” Medical Daily author Lizette Borreli went so far as to label NoFap an “anti-sex group.” Anyone who has visited Nofap knows that nothing could be further from the truth. Many experiment with NoFap to regain their sexual function. NoFap decided to set the record straight with a few tweets of its own (1, 2, 3, 4), including this one:
It sure seems that Prause tweets more about NoFap and Alexander Rhodes than she does about her own research. Prause claims to be licensed psychologist. What ethical psychologist would go out of the way to call a young man recovering from compulsive porn use a liar, especially without evidence? Ethics violation? Violation of APA principles?
OTHERS – July, 2016: Nicole Prause & PornHelps falsely accuse TIME editor Belinda Luscombe of lying and misquoting
Luscombe has been with TIME Magazine since 1995, becoming a senior editor in 1999. (See her Wikipedia page and her TIME page.) Luscombe spent a year investigating porn-induced sexual problems in young men, which resulted in the March, 31, 2016 TIME cover story “Porn and the Threat to Virility.” Both Prause and Ley have attacked the TIME article, even though both were featured in it and quoted (minimally).
Unfortunately for the public, usually Prause and Ley are the only “experts” featured in most mainstream porn-addiction articles, while the true addiction neuroscientists and their work are not even acknowledged to exist. Not this time. Two world renowned neuroscientists, who have published fMRI studies on porn users, were interviewed for the TIME article. So was a urologist, as well as several young men who have recovered from porn-induced erectile dysfunction. Put simply, the TIME article was more carefully researched than any other article on this subject, and its content reflected both reality and the (then) current state of the science. Since then, even more support for the possible link between internet porn use and sexual dysfunctions has come out in the peer-reviewed literature.
In response to Belinda’s earlier tweet (pictured above) about working the story for a year, we have @pornhelps, tweeting the following:
Pornhelps is psychic: she knows “for fact” how long Belinda worked on the story. Ten minutes later Prause tweets claiming Belinda misquoted her and “lied about her sources”:
As always, Prause provides no examples and no documentation. Not being tagged, how did Prause know about Belinda’s tweet or @pornhelp’s reply? Maybe Prause is psychic too?
Reality Check: It is Prause and @Pornhelps who are lying. As many can verify, Luscombe contacted Gary Wilson, Gabe Deem, Alexander Rhodes, Noah Church, David Ley, and others, during the year before the TIME cover story was published. In addition, Luscombe and several TIME Magazine fact-checkers contacted each individual several times to corroborate each interviewee’s claims.
We know that Wilson’s former employers were contacted, as were the girlfriends of the men with porn-induced sexual problems. Interviewees were also asked to deny or confirm claims given to TIME by David Ley and Nicole Prause. This was done in writing, often 2-3 times for each claim.
For example, Nicole Prause falsely claimed to TIME magazine that Gabe Deem masqueraded as a medical doctor to write this peer-reviewed critique of Prause & Pfaus 2015 (in fact written by a medical doctor/researcher). Even more astonishingly, Prause told TIME that UCLA had traced the “Richard A. Isenberg MD” critique (Letter to the Editor) to the young man’s computer. This outlandish attempt to defame Deem is all documented above.
In an attempt to end the conversation Belinda tweets the following on July 25:
“PornHelps” tweets two more unstable responses (Update – @pornhelps later deleted their twitter account as it became apparent that Prause often tweeted with this account):
- @ – kinda like the reporter who didn’t report all the money they made off the men by faking it
so check who Ur friend R now…all unemployed ppl benefiting financially, no proof of any personal claims. Sounds like
No one responds to feed the troll.
OTHERS – April, 2016: A Nicole Prause sock puppet edits the Belinda Luscombe Wikpedia page
On March, 31, 2016 TIME published Belina Luscombe’s cover story “Porn and the Threat to Virility.” The very next day, a Wikipedia user appeared, indentified only by an IP address, and added the following to the Belinda Luscombe Wikipedia page:
Despite claiming that she is “not a science writer,” she continues to try to cover scientific topics. This often results in required retractions by the scientists then forced to clean up her poor writing.
The above comment was reversed the next day by another Wikipedia editor. Without checking this user’s other comments, it’s evident that this was likely done by Nicole Prause. Moreover, an investigation of this user’s only other 3 Wikipedia edits erases all doubt that this is Prause’s handiwork:
- 23:53, 5 December 2016 (diff | hist) . . (0) . . Pornography addiction (→Diagnostic status)
- 23:22, 9 September 2016 (diff | hist) . . (+115) . . Effects of pornography (Largest neuro study mysteriously left off previous edits)
- 23:21, 9 September 2016 (diff | hist) . . (-1,177) . . Effects of pornography (Removing pseudoscience by Gary Wilson)
- 03:47, 1 April 2016 (diff | hist) . . (+206) . . Belinda Luscombe (inaccuracies in writing)
Only Nicole Prause would have made theses edits, especially the last 3:
- “Largest neuro study mysteriously left off previous edits.” This is referring to Prause et al., 2015, which is the study that only Prause boasts (inaccurately) is the largest neurological study on porn addicts. No one else calls her EEG study the “largest study” because: 1) Many of Prause’s subjects were not really porn addicts; 2) two other neurological studies assessed greater numbers of subjects.
- “Removing pseudoscience by Gary Wilson.” Who else would (falsely) accuse Gary Wilson in a Wikipedia edit? In the section below we reveal other Prause Wikipedia sock puppets who attack Gary Wilson, including a sock puppet with the user name “NotGaryWilson.”
- “inaccuracies in writing”: This is Prause lashing out in impulsive frustration at the TIME article, as she did months later as both @PornHelps and @NicoleRPrause.
This vicious failed attack on veteran TIME editor Belinda Luscombe for doing her job well (and giving short shrift to Prause’s “alternative facts”) is classic Prause vindictiveness.
OTHERS – September 2016: Prause attacks and libels former UCLA colleague Rory C. Reid PhD. 2 years earlier “TellTheTruth” posted the exact same claims & documents on a porn recovery site frequented by Prause’s sock puppets.
On September 15th, 2016 Nicole Prause posted a fake press release on the website PROLOG. Prause’s “press release” attacked and libeled several individuals including Gary Wilson, Donald Hilton MD, Utah state senator Todd Weiler, and Dr. Todd Love. This is what remains of the press release, as ProLog removed the content 2 days later because it violated their policies. Not to be denied, Prause placed the press release’s content on her AmazonAWS account. Here we examine her comments about UCLA researcher and former colleague Rory Reid PhD. Excerpt from Prause’s rant:
“Psychologist” and “LCSW” are both regulated titles licensed with the state of California that Rory Reid was using to advertise his services to patients but did not actually possess. Rory Reid also has falsely described that he attended and is on faculty at Harvard University and is an “assistant professor” at UCLA. Reid was never faculty at Harvard University and is an adjunct, not tenure track faculty, at UCLA. Reid is listed as a full-time employee of the State of California’s Office of Problem Gambling at UCLA, so it is unclear how Reid would be able to study sex films and contact politicians about sex films without violating his state contract.
A little background on Rory Reid and former UCLA researcher Nicole Prause is useful here. Rory Reid has been a research psychologist at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA since before Nicole Prause’s brief stint at UCLA began in 2013. Reid’s research areas are hypersexuality and gambling addiction.
Reid, like Prause, has often argued against the existence of “sex addiction.” Reid stated in a 2013 article that his office was right next door to Prause’s at UCLA. In 2013 Nicole Prause listed Rory Reid as a member of her “SPAN Lab.” As stated, Prause’s UCLA contract was not renewed while Reid remains a researcher at UCLA. Whatever he did to displease her, Prause is now attacking a former colleague publicly and brutally.
But there’s more to the story. Months earlier, in December 5th, 2014 several comments mirroring Prause’s “press release” (urging readers to report Rory Reid to California authorities) were posted on the porn recovery site YourBrainRebalanced by a brand new member. As we saw above, Prause made a habit of commenting on YBR using various aliases. The first of these comments, by TellTheTruth, contained 2 links. One link went to a PDF on Scribd with supposed evidence supporting TellTheTruth’s claims (Prause regularly use aliases with 2-4 capitalized words as usernames).
Two more comments by TellTheTruth that mirror Nicole Prause’s “press release” (now) published nearly 2 years later.
The TellTheTruth comments and PDF from December, 2014 along with the Prause’s press release incriminate Nicole Prause as cyberstalking Rory Reid at about the time she was leaving UCLA. Key point: The documents that Prause placed on her AmazonAWS account about Reid are the same documents that TellTheTruth placed on YourBrainRebalanced 2 years earlier. Note the same “2013 copyright State of California” for Prause’s current screenshot and TellTheTruth’s 2-year old screenshot:
Prause’s current document: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/weilerdefamation/NoLicenseInCaliforni… (note the URL in this screenshot & the 2013 copyright)
TellTheTruth’s document she posted 2 years earlier on the porn recovery forum YourBrainRebalanced. Notice the 2013 copyright and how TellThe Truth pasted Reid’s picture into her PDF:
Here’s why we know TellTheTruth was Nicole Prause: The current license search has a 2016 copyright notice! Prause was harassing and cyberbullying her UCLA colleague Rory Reid in December, 2014 (about the time she was leaving UCLA), and she’s still using the same screen shots to do it.
Here’s another another example of duplicate documents by Prause-2016 and TellTheTruth-2014. Prause’s current AmazonAWS document – https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/weilerdefamation/BevHillsClinicalPrac…
Incidentally, it looks like Nicole Prause “stole” Rory Reid’s picture and placed on a website without his permission. Should he file a police report? And here’s TellTheTruth’s document from December, 2014. You can see from the URL stamp and heading that this was a PDF on SCRIBD:
Same documents, same claims, same spinning of the truth by both Prause and TellTheTruth. Here’s the Key point: Rory Reid is still a researcher at UCLA while Prause’s contract at UCLA was not renewed.
One has to ask why UCLA would willingly part with an up-and-coming researcher able to (1) debunk entire fields of science with a single study (in this case, the field of porn addiction research), and (2) persuade the media she has done so. Things are not always what they seem.
September, 2016: Prause libels Gary Wilson and others with Amazon AWS documents (which Prause tweeted dozens of times)
Back to the September 15th, 2016 fake press release Nicole Prause posted on the website PROLOG. Prause’s “press release” also attacked and libeled several individuals including Gary Wilson, Donald Hilton MD, Utah state senator Todd Weiler, and Dr. Todd Love. Again, this is what remains of the press release, as ProLog removed the content 2 days later because it violated their policies. Not to be denied, Prause placed the press release’s content on her AmazonAWS account (Amazon refuses to arbitrate content disputes). Since September 15, Prause has tweeted dozens of times about her document. Here we examine Prause’s comments about Gary Wilson.
Prause: Dr. Prause had to file a police report and close and hide her UCLA laboratory under threat from this blogger and now requires physical protection at all her public talks from him. He has since been spotted in Los Angeles near the scientist’s home and LAPD threat management has been alerted.
Closed her Lab? Armed guards? Spotted near her home? All this because YBOP critiqued her 2013 EEG study? All these claims are untrue, and the claim that “Wilson has been spotted seen near the scientist’s home” is also fiction. Wilson hasn’t been to LA in years. A call to the Los Angeles police and the UCLA campus police revealed no police report about Wilson in either system. That is the only fact here.
False. Wilson wrote (or copied) the chancellor 3 times in late 2013 and early 2014 to complain about Prause’s ongoing harassment. The first letter informed UCLA about Prause’s multiple instances of harassment, frivolous legal threats and libel targeting Wilson and two others. This letter also documented Prause’s intimidation of Psychology Today editors (who acquiesced and removed Wilson’s critique and a critique by two other Psychology Today bloggers (both experts)). In one paragraph Wilson described how Prause misrepresented the finding of Steele et al., 2013 to the press. Five peer-reviewed papers have since supported Wilson’s assertion (1, 2, 3, 4, 5.) Nowhere did Wilson say that Prause had “faked her data” or “faked her title.” Both Wilson and UCLA possess the original letters. Their content proves that Prause is libeling Wilson.
Wilson sent a second letter to UCLA (December 2, 2013) to complain about Prause placing a document libeling Wilson on the SPAN lab website (as described above). It was assumed that UCLA controlled the content as each SPAN Lab page contained the following:
Copyright © 2007-2013 SPAN Lab, All Rights Reserved University of California, Department of Psychiatry, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Reproduced below are the first several paragraphs of Wilson’s letter to UCLA Chancellor Block:
Two weeks later a letter was sent to Vice Dean Jonathan R. Hiatt to inform him that Prause’s libelous PDF remained. Shortly thereafter the PDF was removed, although no official response was received until March, 2014. The Vice Dean informed Wilson that the SPAN Lab website was Prause’s own site, and not a UCLA website at all(!). Reproduced below is a portion of UCLA’s response to Gary Wilson’s letter:
So Wilson did not “write the UCLA chancellor over a dozen times.” This can be confirmed by UCLA. We must state again that Prause not only personally attacked Wilson, but attacked UCLA colleague Rory Reid PhD (see above section). UCLA did not renew Prause’s contract.
Prause: He also broke into her private online account to stalk her after receiving a no-contact order. He stole her personal photos from that account, posted them to his porn website, then migrated them to try to evade DMCA take downs until his ISP threatened to shutter his website.
All false. The “stolen photos” claim was addressed above. To recap, Wilson wrote this Psychology Today blog post about this Nicole Prause Psychology Today Interview (which contains a picture of Prause). Psychology Today required at least one picture (all of Wilson’s PT articles contained several pictures). Since this blog post was about Nicole Prause’s interview and her study, it contained a picture of Prause. The picture that accompanied Wilson’s Psychology Today blog post was also used with this same article on YBOP. The photo of Prause was chosen by her, and appeared on a site she falsely claimed was run by UCLA, with this notice on each page: “Copyright © 2007-2013 SPAN Lab, All Rights Reserved University of California, Department of Psychiatry, Los Angeles, CA 90024.”
Addendum: Prause is now claiming in an AmazonAWS PDF that Wilson migrated the picture of Prause (and the associated article) to other servers. This is false. The picture of Prause accompanied a single critique that appeared on two separate websites, PornStudySkeptics and YourBrainOnPorn.com. These two identical articles have remained on those two websites since July, 2013: Article 1, Article 2. In her PDF Prause also claims that Wilson’s ISP told him that they “would close his website if he did it a fourth time”. This did not occur.
Prause: Her name appears over 1,350 times on one website alone of an obsessed blogger.
This claim may actually be true. The website Prause is referring to is this one: YourBrainOnPorn.com. Approximately 700 of the 1,350 mentions are on this page alone. Why would YourBrainOnPorn.com contain an alleged additional 650 instances of “Prause”? YBOP contains about 9,000 pages, and it’s a clearinghouse for nearly everything associated with Internet porn use and its effects on the user. Nicole Prause has published multiple studies about porn use and hypersexuality, and by her own admission, is a professional debunker of porn addiction and porn-induced sexual problems.
A Google search for “Nicole Prause” + pornography returns about 9,000 pages. She’s quoted in hundreds of journalistic articles about porn use and porn addiction. She has published several papers related to pornography use. She’s on TV, radio, podcasts, and YouTube channels claiming to have debunked porn addiction with a single (heavily criticized) study. So Prause’s name inevitably shows up a lot on a site functioning as a clearinghouse for research and news associated with Internet porn’s effects.
Not only are Prause’s studies on YBOP, so are hundreds of other studies, many of which cite Prause in their reference sections. YBOP also has publsihed very long critiques of six Prause papers. YBOP contains at least 12 peer-reviewed critiques of Prause’s studies. YBOP contains at least a dozen lay critiques of Prause’s work. YBOP contains many journalistic articles that quote Nicole Prause, and YBOP often responds to Prause’s claims in these articles. YBOP also debunks many of the talking points put forth by Prause and her close ally David Ley. Finally, YBOP members comment here asking about Prause’s studies or her claims in the media. However, YBOP also critiques other questionable research on porn and related subjects. These critiques are not personal, but rather substantive.
Prause plays the misogyny card
Over the last few years, Dr. Prause appears to have taken great pains to position herself as a “woman being subjected to misogynistic oppression when she tells truth to power.” She frequently tweets this infographic that she apparently also shares at her public lectures, suggesting she is being victimized “as a woman scientist,” and painting herself as a trailblazer forging ahead to prove porn’s harmlessness despite prejudiced attacks. She has even been known to tweet combinations of misogyny claims and claims that (legitimate, peer-reviewed) science with which she disagrees is “fake.” Any suggestion that Wilson, Deem or Rhodes are motivated by misogyny is fabricated, as their objections have nothing to do with Dr. Prause as a person or as a woman, and only to do with her untrue statements and inadequately supported claims about her research.
As for the Infographic, Prause’s only evidence of misogyny is that Wilson supposedly once wrote “Miss Prause” and once incorrectly spelled her first name as “nicki.” That’s it. Neither of these examples are on YourBrainOnPorn.com, and Prause provides no documentation as to where either supposedly appear. Misspellings/autocorrects occur in the digital age.
The info-graphic also claims that Alexander Rhodes is sexist because he defended Wilson against Prause’s libelous claims that “Wilson was recently seen outside Prause’s residence.” When did the refutation of lies become misogyny?
If YBOP is truly sexist why are the majority of the authors we critique men? This page lists the studies and papers YBOP has critiqued.
- The total number of authors listed on all the papers: 56
- Male authors: 42
- Female authors: 14
Once again, facts debunk propaganda.
Finally, no one named on this page – whom Prause has accused of sexism and misogyny – endorses, or encourages, either. Speak with them and you will discover that the very opposite is true. All support the respectful treatment of women. Their issue with Prause is with her tactics and her unsupported claims about her research, not with her as a woman or a woman scientist.
Curious about Prause’s claim that Don Hilton, MD, “called her a child molester,” we contacted Dr. Hilton. Here is his response:
With regard to Prause’s claim, the facts are presented here. I did not call her a child molester.
About 6 or 7 years ago I spoke in 3 Idaho cities in one day for a group called Citizens for Decency. I spoke on evidence supporting an addictive model related to problematic porn use, which was mainly molecular biology at that point. This model has since been substantiated by structural and functional MRI studies.
At the end of my talk a young woman came up and basically said that she did not think there was any evidence supporting the addiction model. I only learned later that it was Nicole Prause, who was then employed in Idaho. Next, she said she had trained at the Kinsey Institute, implying that she was an expert on sexuality.
I asked her if she supported the research and methodology of the namesake of her institution, Alfred Kinsey. I explained to her that Kinsey had collaborated with pedophiles, and trained and instructed them to time with stopwatches how long it took children they molested to reach orgasm. I asked her if she supported Kinsey and his methodology. At that point she became hostile.
Her claim that I said she was a child molester is untrue; I didn’t know her, her name, or anything about her other than that she admired Kinsey. My point was that the person she considered her philosophical mentor had knowingly collaborated with child molesters. This is perfectly true. Attached is attached a copy of Table 34 from the Kinsey book on male sexuality published in 1948 [reproduced below]. The youngest child is 5 months old, and is described as having 3 orgasms. Note that most sessions are timed.
Incidentally, Paul Gebhard (coauthor of Kinsey’s female sexuality book published a few years after the male book), was interviewed by J.Gordon Muir years later. This is an excerpt from the interview:
Muir: “So, do pedophiles normally go around with stopwatches?”
Gebhard: “Ah, they do if we tell them we’re interested in it!”
Kinsey, Pomeroy (an early president of AASECT), Gebhard, and others worked with 2 child molesters, Rex King and a Nazi named Fritz Ballusek. Ballusek’s trial is well documented, but King was never caught. An example of the collaboration is from a letter on Nov 24, 1944 from Kinsey to King:
“I rejoice at everything you send, for I am then assured that that much more of your material is saved for scientific publication.”
Kinsey also warned his pedophiles to be careful not to be caught. For documentation, see Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences, whose author confirmed to me that she has the original tapes of the phone interview in her archives.
Although I did not call Nicole Prause a child molester, I did ask her then, and I ask her now, if she condones or refutes the collaboration of Kinsey, his coauthors, and the Kinsey Institute with child molesters. I am still waiting for her answer.
Once again Nicole Prause is caught in a lie.
Prause calls Hall a “pseudoscientist” and misrepresents Hall’s views on a study:
Known “pseudoscientist”? That’s not even a real word. A month after Prause’s tweet Paula Hall was listed as a coauthor on this Cambridge University brain scan study of porn addicts (published in the journal Human Brain Mapping): Compulsive sexual behavior: Prefrontal and limbic volume and interactions, 2016.
As described above Prause has a history of personally attacking Alexander Rhodes (it is always Prause who initiates the harssment with her tweets). For example, (again) here’s Prause (on a thread she initiated) claiming that Alexander Rhodes lied about experiencing porn-induced sexual problems:
@AlexanderRhodes and @NoFap follow Gary Wilson on Twitter. On October 1st Wilson responded to James Guay LMFT (who had tagged him with this libelous and harassing tweet). James Guay appears to be a friend of Prause. Guay also re-tweeted Prause’s libelous AmazonAWS document. Wilson and Guay exchanged tweets, with Wilson asking for any documentation to support Prause’s claims.
@JamesTherapy So you did not read all that we have documented here: http://www.yourbrainonporn.com/nicole-prauses-pdf-her-span-lab-website … Provide documentation for your defamatory claim.
James Guay provided no documentation, yet continued to harass Wilson with several more tweets. It must be noted that Wilson has never engaged Prause or her Twitter allies directly about her string of false accusations. It was James Guay who directly engaged Wilson on Twitter. Alexander Rhodes joined in posting a humorous tweet to Guay concerning Prause’s ridiculous claim that Wilson “has been seen outside Prause’s residence.” It contained a picture of a guy lurking in the bushes:
Key point: The above tweet no longer contains this picture of a man hiding in the bushes, which was used under the copyright “fair use” exclusion because it is evident the image’s purpose was for meme/parody:
As Alexander Rhodes describes in subsequent tweets, Nicole Prause falsely claimed ownership of the “man in the bush” picture and filed a bogus DMCA takedown request via Twitter. In doing so Prause committed perjury. Rhodes tweets the evidence:
One must keep in mind that Prause is always the initiator of harassment, and her claims about Wilson constitute both libel and harassment.
Finally Alexander complains about having to reveal his personal information to Prause:
Libel, perjury, and harssment – all documented. Rhodes has alerted Your Brain on Porn that he has submitted a counter-notice to the fraudulent DMCA notice that Nicole Prause used to
censor his criticism on Twitter.
On August 5, 2016 the academic journal Behavioral Sciences published the following paper: Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports (2016). Seven US Navy doctors and Gary Wilson are listed as the authors of this academic review of the literature. All authors are required to list their affiliations.
- Key point: Gary Wilson’s affiliation was accurately listed as “The Reward Foundation” (a registered Scottish charity).
An earlier and significantly different version of this paper was first submitted in March, 2015 to the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine as part of their “Addiction” issue. Normal procedure is for the journal to have two academics review a paper to provide commentary and criticism.
- Key point: This paper was the only place Wilson’s affiliation with the Reward Foundation could be found outside of Foundation personnel. In other words, only the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine editor and the two reviewers knew about this affiliation.
In April, 2015 an email by someone using a fake name was sent to The Reward Foundation and to the organization housing several charities, including The Reward Foundation:
On Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 9:21 AM, _____________ <++++++++++++++@gmail.com> wrote:
I now have documentation that Gary Wilson himself is claiming to be a member of the Reward Foundation. While he is not listed on the new website page, this represents a rather worse transgression…. [Reward Foundation personnel] may not even be aware he is making these claims, I am not sure, but he has now made them publicly.
- Key Point: Only one of two reviewers of the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine submission could have sent this email (Prause later self-identified as one of the two reviewers). The information was not public, but only made available to the journal.
Several more Prause-like emails were sent by this same anonymous troll to the organization housing the Reward Foundation, the Scottish Charity Regulator, and the publisher of Gary Wilson’s book. They contained the now familiar personal attacks on Wilson (described above), and even threats of legal action. No one took the bizarre rantings and unsupported claims seriously.
The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine was informed of this behavior (engaged in by one of their two reviewers). When it was suggested that Prause might be behind these bizarre emails and the paper’s initial rejection, the editor didn’t deny it. The paper was promptly accepted…and then not published after all, based on a claim that it was too late to meet the print deadline for YJBM’s “Addiction” issue.
A different, substantially updated version of the paper was then submitted to the journal Behavioral Sciences. After a few rounds of reviews and rewriting it was accepted as a review of the literature. Its final form was quite different from the original YJBM submission. At a much later date, Prause submitted the original YJBM version to a regulatory board (in an effort to have the published paper retracted), thus confirming she was quite likely the person behind the many harassing emails.
Nicole Prause has violated the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) code of ethics for academic reviewers. Section 5, in the “Guidelines on Good Publication Practice” PDF (on this page) outlines eight rules for peer reviewers. Nicole Prause has violated at least three COPE’s rules:
(2) The duty of confidentiality in the assessment of a manuscript must be maintained by expert reviewers, and this extends to reviewers’ colleagues who may be asked (with the editor’s permission) to give opinions on specific sections.
- Prause broke confidentiality. She used Wilson’s affiliation with The Reward Foundation to harass the officers of the Reward Foundation and to pepper the Scottish Charity Register with false allegations about Wilson.
(3) The submitted manuscript should not be retained or copied.
- Prause kept the manuscript and later submitted it to regulatory boards as part of a frivolous demand for retraction.
(4) Reviewers and editors should not make any use of the data, arguments, or interpretations, unless they have the authors’ permission.
- Prause used specific content of the YJBM submission as a part her bogus claim to regulatory boards without the authors’ permission.
October, 2016 – Prause publishes her spurious October, 2015 “cease and desist” letter. Wilson responds by publishing his letter to Prause’s lawyer.
On October 15, 2015 Gary Wilson received a cease and desist letter from a lawyer representing Nicole Prause. A year later Prause published her cease and desist letter on AmazonAWS, and linked to it under a petition to Psychology Today (asking the organization to reconsider its editorial policy). Prause commented under the petition multiple times saying that members of two organizations (IITAP & SASH) were all “openly sexist and assaultive to scientists.” In a strange disconnect, the main evidence Prause supplied for this blanket statement was the cease and desist letter sent only to Wilson, reproduced below. Wilson is not a member of SASH or IITAP.
There is no other way to say this: All four claims in the above cease & desist letter are bogus. The most absurd claim is that Wilson said that Prause appeared in porn. Gary Wilson wrote the following letter asking both Prause and the lawyer to provide evidence to support their allegations. Wilson’s letter in full:
In the intervening 22 months neither Prause nor the lawyer have responded. Neither has provided any evidence to support Prause’s allegations – because the allegations are false. It’s clear that Prause’s motivation was threefold:
- to intimidate Wilson so that he might remove his critiques of Prause’s studies,
- to create a letter she could show her allies as “proof positive” that Wilson is harassing her (even though it is proof of nothing and merely made up),
- to produce an “official letter” to show journalists so as to discourage them from contacting Wilson.
October, 2016 – Prause had co-presenter Susan Stiritz “warn campus police” that Gary Wilson might fly 2000 miles to listen to Prause say porn addiction isn’t real
Prause continues to spin a fable that Gary Wilson has threatened to “show up” at one of her talks. This is poppycock. Prause has provided no evidence to support this claim, and Wilson has no desire to hear Prause speak (let alone pay to hear her speak). In mid-October, 2016 Nicole Prause placed the following PDF on AmazonAWS. Prause posted a link to the PDF under a petition to Psychology Today (which was gathering support to ask the organization to reconsider its editorial policy).
While nothing in this message (below) can be verified, it appears to be written by Susan Stiritz. It also appears to be describing Stiritz relaying Prause’s fabricated claim to a campus policeman to the effect that Gary Wilson was planning to attend the AASECT summer institute. Put simply, Wilson was claimed to be planning to fly 2000 miles, pay for 4 nights in a St Louis hotel, and pay over $1000 to AASECT, just to hear Prause and David Ley explain how porn addiction has been “debunked.” Prause even provided a picture of Wilson, which she must have “stolen,” because he didn’t send it to her (reproduced below).
So this is the “proof” that Gary Wilson is dangerous: a made-up tale by Prause, told to a friend, who relayed it to a campus cop 2000 miles from where Wilson lives via message, which Prause now offers as “proof” of Wilson’s evil actions. What’s missing from all of this claptrap is one iota of evidence that hints that Wilson ever indicated that he intended to attend a Prause lecture – or threaten her in any way whatsoever.
While Prause claims Wilson is “dangerous,” the only danger of having Wilson in the audience is that he might, with awkward questions, debunk Prause’s claims by citing 37 neurological papers that support the porn addiction model, and 80 studies that link porn use to sexual dysfunctions and lower sexual & relationship satisfaction. That’s the real reason she doesn’t want Wilson attending her lectures.
OTHERS – October, 2016: Prause states falsely that SASH and IITAP “board members and practitioners are openly sexist and assaultive to scientists“
On October 12, 2016 a petition to Psychology Today (asking the organization to reconsider its editorial policy) was published on “petitionbuzz.com” The next day Nicole Prause & Jim Pfaus posted four comments under the petition. Prause & Pfaus co-authored this paper (it’s not an actual study), that they claim debunked porn-induced ED. Two peer-reviewed papers (paper 1, paper 2) and three lay critiques say otherwise (1, 2, 3). As do 19 studies linking porn use to sexual problems. Under the petition, Jim Pfaus calls SASH and IITAP “addiction cults” and “snake oil salesmen” (Pfaus is not a therapist). He also falsely claims that there’s “no empirically-based clinical or biological science supporting porn addiction or the negative effects of porn use.”
Pfaus is not telling the truth: 37 neurological studies & 12 reviews of the literature support the porn addiction model, and 80 studies link porn use to sexual dysfunctions and lower sexual & relationship satisfaction. Not a single neurological study falsifies the porn addiction model, including this one. And there are codes in both the ICD and DSM that allow reimbursable diagnoses of the disorders, and the “compulsive sexual behavior disorder” is being considered for ICD-11. (Note: Like Prause, Jim Pfaus has a history of misrepresnting the reserach, and even making false statements – as he did here about Prause & Pfaus 2015)
In a reply comment, Prause echoed fellow troll Pfaus calling “IITAP/CSAT’s” snake oil salesmen. Now that’s an unbiased researcher.
Nicole Prause posted 3 more comments, including this one where she claims that all members of IITAP and SASH are “openly sexist” and “assaultive to scientists”:
What evidence does Prause provide to incriminate all the members in these two very large and diverse organizations, accusing them all of “sexism and assaults on scientists?” Prause posts links to her fabricated claims about Gary Wilson (described above).
Since Wilson is not a member of either organization, it’s baffling how Prause’s ramblings about Wilson incriminate over a thousand therapists, PhDs, medical doctors and psychologists belonging to these two organizations. Once again, we have inflammatory and defamatory claims without a shred of evidence.
OTHERS – November, 2016: Prause asks VICE magazine to fire infectious disease specialist Keren Landman, MD for supporting Prop 60 (condoms in porn)
California Proposition 60 would have mandated condom use in porn films. It was supported by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a nonprofit HIV/AIDS care and advocacy organization, and vehemently opposed by porn producers and interestingly enough, Nicole Prause and colleague David Ley. In the run up to the 2016 election, Prause and Ley seemed obsessed with defeating Prop 60, while relatively unconcerned about graver issues such as health care, immigration, or jobs. Both Prause and Ley spent considerable effort tweeting and re-tweeting attacks on Prop 60, and support for the Free Speech Coalition, the lobbying arm for the porn industry (tweet1, tweet2, tweet3, tweet4, tweet5, tweet6, tweet7, tweet8, tweet9, tweet10, tweet11). One such example:
David Ley even wrote a Psychology Today article denouncing Proposition 60: Condoms in Porn: A Solution in Search of a Problem. In the most astonishing series of tweets, Prause joins an “adult actor” in attacking a medical doctor specializing in infectious disease. In Prause’s esteemed opinion, VICE magazine should have fired expert Dr. Landman for writing an article supporting Prop 60:
Freelancer? While Prause’s degree is in statistics, Keren Landman MD is a researcher, medical epidemiologist, and infectious disease specialist who once worked for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV infection is one of her specialties, having published several papers in the field. Once again, we have Prause personally attacking experts in a field, while simultaneously failing to support her position with empirical evidence. (Does anyone believe Prause’s claim that “every independent scientist supports prop 60″?) Whatever anyone thinks about Prop 60, Dr. Landman’s position is supported by research, and Nicole Prause’s is not.
The question remains: Why are both Prause and Ley such outspoken supporters of the porn industry, and so eager to attack anyone and everyone who suggests porn use or sex without a condom may pose problems?
OTHERS – November, 2016: Prause falsely claims to have sent cease & desist letters to panelists on the Mormon Matters podcast
On November 10, 2016 “Mormon Matters” published the following podcast: 353–354: Championing the “Addiction” Paradigm with Regard to Pornography/Sex Addiction. It was a response to an earlier Mormon Matters podcast (episodes 347–348) where Prause and three therapists tried their very best to debunk porn addiction and sex addiction. In Podcast 353–354, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon was joined by four panelists: Jackie Pack (LCSW, CSAT–S, CMAT), Alexandra Katehakis (MFT, CSAT-S, CST-S), Stefanie Carnes (Ph.D., CSAT-S), and Donald Hilton (M.D.).
Within a few minutes of the podcast going live, Nicole Prause and, apparently, her sock puppets (“Skeptic”, “Lack of expertise on panel”, “Danny”) posted a dozen comments attacking the four panelists. Prause & sock puppets was joined in her ad hominem fest by Jay Blevins and Natasha Helfer-Parker (two of the therapists who collaborated with Prause on episodes 347-348). Over the next few days, Prause, Jay Blevins, and Natasha Helfer-Parker posted dozens more ad hominem comments. Nicole Prause posted her typical lies about Gary Wilson stealing photos, having to lock down her lab, and “fortifying her home” (maybe she installed a bomb-shelter to protect her from unfavorable blog posts). Also, in one of her numerous comments, Prause claimed that:
- She had sent Cease & Desist letters to members of the panel
- Two of the panelists are currently under APA investigation
We contacted the panelists, and it was confirmed that:
- No panelist has received a cease and desist letter from Dr. Prause, and
- No panelist has been contacted by the APA (the American Psychological Association).
Once again, we have evidence that Nicole Prause is making false statements. And suppose Prause had actually sent cease and desist letters? It would be evidence of nothing, as anyone can pay a lawyer to send a spurious cease and desist letter (as Prause is wont to do).
OTHERS – December, 2016: In a Quora answer Prause tells a porn addict to visit a prostitute (a violation of APA ethics and California law)
Below is a screenshot of Prause’s original answer posted in response to this Quora question: How can I overcome masturbation and/or porn addiction? What are the best methods? While Prause’s post was written in September, 2016, its existence was further publicized in this December 14th IITAP blog post that responded to AASECT’s proclamation that porn and sex addiction are myths. (Thereafter the original Prause response was deleted.)
Here is the paragraph from IITAP’s response that linked to the Prause Quora post. (Keep in mind that Prause was an instrumental figure in misleading a small band of AASECT therapists that porn and sex addiction had been debunked – not the case).
On the other side, many clinicians are expressing worry that people who truly are sexual addicts are harmed by well-meaning sex therapists who without insight or full understanding of these issues discount the problematic nature of these symptoms, thus writing off a client’s compulsive sexual behavior patterns as normal and non-consequential, even suggesting that clients’ issues are related more to their attitude about sex than the sex itself. This stance is clearly harmful to those clients who are getting and sharing STD’s with unwitting partners and/or losing marriages, jobs and educational opportunities due to self-described excessive porn use, online hook-ups and the like. Consider, for instance, the recently published blog from a well-known researcher, and AASECT faculty member that recommended that someone with a porn addiction should go see a sex worker instead of masturbating to porn (since the posting of this article this blog has been removed). From the IITAP educational perspective, such blatant disregard of compulsive behavior can without question be harmful to the client and those close to him or her.
Prause’s suggestion to visit a prostitute is in the last paragraph:
While this is not harassment, it’s relevant because it shows a complete disregard for professional ethics, ethical and social norms, and the rule of law. This theme permeates everything revealed about Nicole Prause on this page.
Nicole Prause seems to tweet more about Fight The New Drug (FTND) than she does about her or others’ research. A quick look reveals that Prause tweeted 35 times about FTND in November & December 2016.
On December 19, 2016, Prause wrote an e-mail to the Utah State Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), in which she accused Fight the New Drug in its online Fortify program (an online educational curriculum for teens and adults seeking to overcome compulsive pornography use) of both “soliciting sexual stories from children” without parental consent and “coercing” children to provide these stories. While underscoring that she was a “licensed psychologist in California (CA #27778)” and a “mandated reporter” the single reference she provided to support her initial claim was a hit-piece from an online website called “Harlot Magazine.”
Nicole CC’d the CEO of Fight the New Drug (FTND), Clay Olsen, on her complaint to DCFS. Subsequent phone calls from FTND to DCFS revealed that (while they could officially neither confirm nor deny whether an investigation was taking place) (1) the accusation from Prause meets none of the criteria for something DCFS investigates, and (2) it was not necessary for FTND to meet with DCFS since there was “nothing to investigate” and “nothing to explain.”
Despite all this, Prause continued publicly tweeting her concerns about “@FightTheNewDrug child victims” and posted the following request to all her twitter followers, “if your child completed @FightTheNewDrug Fortify program, asking sexual hx, Utah DCFS wants to talk to you. This how to get heard.”
Thus Prause continues her pattern of misusing regulatory bodies for unwarranted complaints – partly as a way to intimidate individuals and organizations and partly as a way for her to subsequently use her own specious and defamatory accusations in broader media opportunities.
OTHERS – January, 2017: Nicole Prause tweets that Noah B. Church is a scientifically inaccurate non-expert and religious profiteer
Once again, Prause launches an unprovoked, defamatory twitter attack on a man who recovered from porn-induced ED. The following Prause tweet seems to be related to Noah’s appearance on the DearSugarRadio segment “My Fiancé Is Addicted To Porn“.
Was Noah scientifically inaccurate? Nope. As is usual, Prause fails to describe the supposed inaccuracies.
Is Noah an expert? Yes indeed, as Noah has:
- recovered from porn addiction and porn-induced ED
- written a book on porn addiction and porn-induced sexual problems
- appeared on radio and TV discussing PIED and porn addiction
- an active website offering numerous resources for those recovering from porn-induced sexual problem and porn addiction
- produced multiple videos on various subjects surrounding porn addiction and recovery from porn addiction
- presented at various conferences
- provided one-on-one coaching and advice to those recovering from porn addiction and porn-induced ED
Is Noah religious? Nope. He is an atheist, which he has stated many times in past.
Is Noah a profiteer? His book, videos and website are all given freely. Noah only charges for one-on-one coaching because it’s so time-consuming.
We assume that Dr. Prause doesn’t treat clients for free (if she sees clients). We know that Prause offered (for a fee) her “expert” testimony against sex addiction and porn addiction. She also receives payment for speaking engagements where she debunks porn and sex addiction.
Finally, consider the fact that it is a violation of APA (American Psychological Association) principles for psychologists to attack those trying to recover.
Prior to the publication “The Routledge International Handbook of Sexual Addiction” Prause tweets that the book’s “only neuroscience chapter was written by a person with no neuroscience training”:
The chapter in question is 3.2 – “The Neuroscience of Sexual Addiction” and was written by Frederick M. Toates DPhil DSc.
The 73-year old Toates is Emeritus Professor of Biological Psychology at The Open University and Vice-President of the Open University Psychology Society. He is not only trained in neuroscience, he is a professor of biological psychology (neuroscience).
With two doctoral degrees, Frederick Toates is a pioneer in the study of motivational systems (the reward system), especially in relationship to sexual desire and motivation. His latest book: How Sexual Desire Works: The Enigmatic Urge. Professor Toates was publishing biological research and authoring neuroscience books before Nikky Prause was a gleam in her parents’ eyes. While Professor Toates is still actively publishing and working in academia, non-academic Prause hasn’t been associated with a university for over 2 years.
- Frederick M. Toates ResearchGate page with about 100 publications
- Frederick M. Toates Amazon book list. About 20 books
- Frederick M. Toates University page (which hasn’t been updated since 2005)
With Prause’s targets expanding, it appears that there is no lie too outrageous to tell nor target too unassailable to smear. Welcome to the club, Professor Toates.
In August, 2016 the academic journal Behavioral Sciences published this literature review by 7 US navy doctors and Gary Wilson: Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports). Since its publication Prause has been trying every trick in her arsenal to have the paper retracted (more will be revealed at a later date). Her emails to MDPI officials, filled with spurious claims and easily debunked allegations, have failed to achieve her goal. No one on the receiving end of her invective had ever witnessed such bizarre behavior by a researcher. MDPI officials offered Prause the opportunity to publish a formal critique of the US Navy paper in Behavioral Sciences. Prause declined the offer and demanded (unwarranted) retraction instead. Then, she went to Twitter to wage her battle, and lied in the following tweet:
Prause is claiming that publisher MDPI is on predatory journal list cataloged by librarian Jeffrey Beall. This assertion is false, and there’s no list associated with the link Prause tweeted.
By the way, Jeffrey Beall created the phrase predatory journal, and was the sole arbiter of which publishers were or were not “predatory”. Beall has since removed all the text from his website.
January, 2017 (and earlier): Prause employs multiple sock puppets (including “NotGaryWilson“) to edit Wikipedia pages
The use of multiple user accounts to edit Wikipedia pages violates Wikipedia rules and is referred to as “sock puppetry” (or simply “socking”). We have already revealed one of Prause’s sock puppets, who edited the Belinda Luscombe Wikipedia page that day after TIME published Luscombe’s cover story, “Porn and the Threat to Virility,” which Prause disapproved of. It’s clear from the comments, content, and usernames that Nicole Prause has created several more accounts to edit Wikipedia articles, such as “pornography addiction,” “sex addiction” and “effects of pornography.”
First, here’s a list of edits done by a Prause sock puppet identified only by an IP address (188.8.131.52). Note the comment associated with this one particular edit:
· 19:06, 19 January 2015 (diff | hist) . . (-9,453) . . Pornography addiction (This section talked only about delta fos-B, which has never been investigated with respect to erotica. Gary Wilson, a known porn blogger who makes money from porn “addiction” added this section, as he is the only one promoting it. It should be removed.) (Tag: section blanking)
Naming “Gary Wilson” is a dead give-away that the above user account is Nicole Prause. Reality Check: Gary Wilson makes no money related to this endeavor, and he did not add the DeltaFosB section to the “Pornography Addiction” Wiki page. As time passed, Prause fell back into her usual pattern of creating usernames with 3-4 capitalized words. For example:
- ScienceIsForever – all contributions
- PatriotsAllTheWay – all contributions
- NotGaryWilson – all contributions
- Neuro1973 – all contributions
While the above edits suggest that all 3 are Prause as they consistently attack IITAP, Carnes, the addiction model, and falsely claim there’s no science supporting either porn or sex addiction. If there was any doubt, two of them once again comment about Gary Wilson and DeltaFosB. First, a telling “PatriotsAllTheWay” comment:
04:55, 21 January 2015 (diff | hist) . . (-9,433) . . Pornography addiction (Delata fos B has never been linked to sexual behaviors in humans, not once. This section was added by Gary Wilson, promoting his book for profit of the same idea.) (Tag: section blanking)
A few comments: 1) All of Gary Wilson’s profits from the sales of his book go to charity, and his website is otherwise entirely non-commercial; 2) Contrary to Prause’s claim, DeltaFosB is present in humans and all neuroscientists studying its mechanisms agree that DeltaFosb is involved with multiple physiological functions, including sensitization to sexual activity and addiction.
A Wikipedia “user-page” is automatically created for every username that edits a Wikipedia article. “NotGaryWilson” is the only Prause sock puppet to have made a comment on its user page. Here’s what “NotGaryWilson” wrote about the “Sex Addiction” article:
As you are probably aware, anti-porn groups repeatedly sabatoge these pages for profit. Delta FOSb has no direct support, but is a pet idea from Gary Wilson, paid anti-porn activist. So, yes, I did mean to remove the text and will go ahead and remove it again. I will add the justification back. There is no evidence supporting the connections Wilson makes, which is why it is so easy to spot his writing.
As with the “Pornography Addiction” Wikipedia page, Gary Wilson in fact added none of the DeltaFosB material to the “Sexual Addiction” Wikipedia page. As stated, Wilson is paid by no one, and makes no money on this endeavor. Finally, only non-academics David Ley and Nicole Prause ever assert that DeltaFosB is not involved with initiating addiction-related brain changes. (Prause is particularly obsessed discrediting with DeltaFosB.) Contrary to their unsupported rantings, DeltaFosB’s role in addiction and sensitization is well established in both animal and human studies (see list 1 and list 2 for DeltaFosB studies). A veteran Wikipedia editor responds to the above comments by “NotGaryWilson”:
I’m C.Fred. I noticed that you recently removed some content from Sexual addiction without adequately explaining why. In the future, it would be helpful to others if you described your changes to Wikipedia with an accurate edit summary. If this was a mistake, don’t worry; the removed content has been restored.
It’s pretty clear from your username that you have an axe to grind with the topic. Chopping broad sections from the article is not a constructive way to go about this. You need to discuss your changes on the talk page and get broad support for them. —C.Fred (talk) 00:48, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
Don’t hold your breath for broad (legitimate) support for unsupported claims about Wilson or DeltaFosB. Enough said.
It appears that Nicole Prause employed two additional usernames to edit the Fight The New Drug Wikipedia page (FTND is one of Prause’s favorites targets):
What makes us suspect that both usernames are Nicole Prause? Not only did both usernames edit only the FTND Wikipedia page, both created the section featuring Prause’s often-tweeted op-ed that appeared in the Salt Lake City Tribune. Prause wrote the critique of Fight the New Drug’s previous op-ed, then persuaded 7 of her PhD buddies to sign off on it. Prause’s op-ed cited only a few irrelevant citations, while offering no neuroscience-based studies. It also made several false statements about the cotnent and references in the earlier FTND op-ed. Several experts responded with this dismantling of the Prause op-ed: Op-ed: Who exactly is misrepresenting the science on pornography? (2016).
In late November, 2017 Prause once again asked the ICD-11 to delete the proposed diagnosis of “Compulsive sexual behavior disorder” (sex addiction, porn addiction). Her entire argument on the ICD rested upon a press release by 3 non-profit kink organizations (Center for Positive Sexuality, National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, and The Alternative Sexualities Health Research Alliance), and AASECT’s 2016 proclamation. (In addition, she falsely claimed that ATSA supported her views.) YBOP wrote an article dismantling the “group position” paper opposing porn and sex addiction (November, 2017). A few days later Prause used two new usernames to edit the Sex Addiction Wikipedia page adding content that mirrors her ICD-11 request to abolish “Compulsive sexual behavior disorder”:
OTHERS – April, 2017: Prause insults Professor Gail Dines, PhD, perhaps for joining the Op-ed: Who exactly is misrepresenting the science on pornography?
Prause, who has not been affiliated with any academic institution for more than 2 years, attacks Professor Dines in a Tweet:
This public insult was part of a thread where Prause scathingly assailed a university student in Sweden for endeavoring to study abuse of porn performers.
Background: Prause has asserted that she has “debunked” and “falsified” the work of dozens of expert addiction neuroscientists with a single flawed study. That study has been formally critiqued repeatedly in the academic literature, as explained below.
Perhaps upset that SASH’s new Position Paper dared to look to the preponderance of neuroscientific evidence on the subject of sexual behavior addiction instead of looking to Prause’s assertions, Prause tweeted the following unjustifed, retaliatory claims. SASH has never commented on Prause.
OTHERS – September 14, 2017: Prause claims all who believe porn can be harmful and addictive are “science-illiterate & misogynistic”
Over the last few years Nicole Prause has not only mischaracterized the current state of porn research, she has misrepresented the findings of her own studies. What’s going on here? By her own admission, rejects the concept of porn addiction. For example, a quote from this recent Martin Daubney article about sex/porn addictions:
Dr Nicole Prause, principal investigator at the Sexual Psychophysiology and Affective Neuroscience (Span) Laboratory in Los Angeles, calls herself a “professional debunker” of sex addiction.
In addition, Nicole Prause’s former Twitter slogan suggests she may lack the impartiality required for scientific research:
“Studying why people choose to engage in sexual behaviors without invoking addiction nonsense”
We will start with Prause’s consistent claims to the media that no studies have been published that support either porn addiction or porn-induced sexual problems. Prause said this in the Congressional Quarterly Researcher (2016, October 21):
Moreover, says Nicole Prause, a neuroscientist and CEO of Liberos, a company that researches sexuality in Los Angeles, there is no proof that pornography is causing a rising rate of erectile dysfunction nor that it is addictive.
- Erectile dysfunction rates in men under 40 have risen up to 1000% in the last few years, and 24 studies link porn use and porn addiction to sexual problems. The first 5 studies in that list demonstrate causation as men eliminated porn use and healed chronic sexual dysfunctions. List of articles, interviews and videos involving over 100 experts who recognize and treat porn-induced sexual dysfunctions.
- There are now 37 neurological studies supporting the porn addiction model. (No studies falsify the porn addiction model)
- There are now 13 reviews of the literature by some of the top neuroscientists in the world, which lend support to the porn addiction model.
- There are 20 studies reporting findings consistent with escalation of porn use (tolerance), habituation to porn, and even withdrawal symptoms.
- There are now over 55 studies linking porn use to less sexual and relationship satisfaction.
- There are now over 40 studies linking porn use to poorer mental-emotional health & poorer cognitive outcomes.
This Salt Lake Tribune Op-Ed (debunking an earlier Op-Ed) contained 80 peer-reviewed studies found on these two lists: 1, 2. Within a few days Nicole Prause and 3 therapists appeared on a Mormon Matters podcast to offer a “rebuttal” to the Salt Lake Tribune Op-Ed. When the show’s host asked Prause to address the many studies cited in support of the Op-Ed, Prause said the following:
“Not one of the studies the cited asked about the positive effects of sex films”
False. Most of these 80 studies simply correlated porn use with sexual or relationship satisfaction. A few even reported porn use sexual satisfaction. She also said,
“They were probably not peer-reviewed.”
False. All were peer-reviewed.
“A lot of the studies they cited were in predatory journals.”
False. None were in predatory journals. Many of the papers were authored by some of the top neuroscientists at Yale University, Cambridge University, University of Duisburg-Essen, and the Max Planck Institute.
“So what they are citing is not respected by any scientist.”
False. No scientist has come forth to officially critique any of the papers in those lists of peer-reviewed literature.
It’s telling that Prause failed to provide the name of a single study from those lists that was not peer-reviewed, or that was published in a predatory journal. Once again Prause makes outlandish claims, yet never provides an iota of evidence to support them. It seems as though Dr. Prause is unaware of the Americal Psychological Association’s “General Principles,” one of which is “Integrity.” Excerpt:
Psychologists do not steal, cheat or engage in fraud, subterfuge or intentional misrepresentation of fact.
Prause has also misrepresented the findings of her own studies to the media (which is the primary reason this website has been obliged to critique Prause’s studies/claims). As examples, we examine a few of the claims surrounding Prause’s three most publicized papers, which she repeatedly claims debunk either porn addiction or porn-induced erectile dysfunction.
1) Steele et al., 2013:
Prause, as the Steele et al. spoesperson, claimed that her subjects’ brain response differered from other types of addicts (cocaine was the example). A few interviews of Prause:
Reporter: “They were shown various erotic images, and their brain activity monitored.”
Prause: “If you think sexual problems are an addiction, we would have expected to see an enhanced response, maybe, to those sexual images. If you think it’s a problem of impulsivity, we would have expected to see decreased responses to those sexual images. And the fact that we didn’t see any of those relationships suggests that there’s not great support for looking at these problem sexual behaviors as an addiction.”
What was the purpose of the study?
Prause: Our study tested whether people who report such problems look like other addicts from their brain responses to sexual images. Studies of drug addictions, such as cocaine, have shown a consistent pattern of brain response to images of the drug of abuse, so we predicted that we should see the same pattern in people who report problems with sex if it was, in fact, an addiction.
Does this prove sex addiction is a myth?
Prause: If our study is replicated, these findings would represent a major challenge to existing theories of sex “addiction.” The reason these findings present a challenge is that it shows their brains did not respond to the images like other addicts to their drug of addiction.
The above claims that subjects’ “brains did not respond like other addicts” is without support, and is nowhere to be found in the actual study. It’s only found in Prause’s interviews. In Steele et al., 2013, the subjects had higher EEG (P300) readings when viewing sexual images, which is exactly what occurs when addicts view images related to their addiction (as in this study on cocaine addicts). Commenting under the Psychology Today interview of Prause, senior psychology professor emeritus John A. Johnson said:
“My mind still boggles at the Prause claim that her subjects’ brains did not respond to sexual images like drug addicts’ brains respond to their drug, given that she reports higher P300 readings for the sexual images. Just like addicts who show P300 spikes when presented with their drug of choice. How could she draw a conclusion that is the opposite of the actual results?
Dr. Johnson, who has no opinion on sex addiction, commented a second time under the Prause interview:
Mustanski asks, “What was the purpose of the study?” And Prause replies, “Our study tested whether people who report such problems [problems with regulating their viewing of online erotica] look like other addicts from their brain responses to sexual images.”
(Said Johnson) But the study did not compare brain recordings from persons having problems regulating their viewing of online erotica to brain recordings from drug addicts and brain recordings from a non-addict control group, which would have been the obvious way to see if brain responses from the troubled group look more like the brain responses of addicts or non-addicts…
Five peer-reviewed papers have since exposed the truth about the lack of support for Prause’s claims about her team’s work: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. For much more see this “debate” between Nicole Prause (as anonymous) and John A. Johnson in the comments section below Johnson’s 2013 Psychology Today article about the sex addiction controversy
2) Prause et al. 2015:
In the first unsupported claim Nicole Prause boldly publicized on her SPAN lab website, proclaiming that her solitary study “debunks porn addiction”:
Nicole Prause also claimed her study contained 122 subjects (N). In reality, the study had only 55 “compulsive porn users.” The other 67 participants were controls.
In a third dubious claim, Prause, et al. stated in both the abstract and in the body of the study:
“These are the first functional physiological data of persons reporting VSS regulation problems.”
This is clearly not the case, as the Cambridge fMRI study was published nearly a year earlier.
“Unfortunately the bold title of Prause et al. (2015) article has already had an impact on mass media, thus popularizing a scientifically unjustified conclusion.”
Finally, for Prause’s claims of falsification and the resulting dubious headlines to be legitimate, all of Prause’s 55 subjects would have to have been actual porn addicts. Not some, not most, but every single subject. All signs point to a good number of the 55 Prause subjects being non-addicts.
The subjects were recruited from Pocatello Idaho via online advertisements requesting people who were “experiencing problems regulating their viewing of sexual images”. Pocatello Idaho is over 50% Mormon, so many of the subjects may feel that any amount of porn use is a serious problem. In a serious methodological flaw, none of the subjects were screened for porn addiction.
Make no mistake, neither Steele et al., 2013 nor Prause et al., 2015 described these 55 subjects as porn addicts or compulsive porn users. The subjects only admitted to feeling “distressed” by their porn use. Confirming the mixed nature of her subjects, Prause admitted in 2013 interview that some of the 55 subjects experienced only minor problems (which means they were not porn addicts):
“This study only included people who reported problems, ranging from relatively minor to overwhelming problems, controlling their viewing of visual sexual stimuli.”
Key point: How can you debunk the porn addiction model if many of your “porn addicts” are not really porn addicts?
3) Prause & Pfaus 2015:
This paper wasn’t a study at all. Instead, Prause claimed to have gathered data from four of her earlier studies, none of which had anything to do with erectile dysfunction. None of the data from the Prause & Pfaus (2015) paper matched the four earlier studies. The discrepancies were not small and have not been explained. A comment by researcher Richard A. Isenberg MD, published in Sexual Medicine Open Access, points out several (but not all) of the discrepancies, errors, and unsupported claims (a lay critique describes more discrepancies). Prause made a number of false or unsupported claims associated with this paper:
Many of the articles about this study claimed that porn use lead to better erections, yet that’s not what the paper found. In recorded interviews both Prause and Pfaus falsely claimed that they had measured erections in the lab, and the men who used porn had better erections. The Jim Pfaus TV interview Jim Pfaus he states:
“We looked at the correlation of their ability to get an erection in the lab,”
“We found a liner correlation with the amount of porn they viewed at home, and the latencies which for example they get an erection is faster.”
In this radio interview Nicole Prause claimed that erections were measured in the lab. The exact quote from the show:
“The more people watch erotica at home they have stronger erectile responses in the lab, not reduced.”
Yet this paper did not assess erection quality in the lab nor “speed of erections.” The paper only claimed to have asked guys to rate their “arousal” after briefly viewing porn (and it’s not clear from the underlying papers that even that actually happened in the case of all subjects). In any case, an excerpt from the paper itself admitted that:
“No physiological genital response data were included to support men’s self-reported experience.”
In a second unsupported claim, lead author Prause tweeted several times about the study, letting the world know that 280 subjects were involved, and that they had “no problems at home.” However, the four underlying studies contained only 234 male subjects, so “280” is way off.
A third unsuported claim: Dr. Isenberg wondered, how is it possible for Prause & Pfaus to have compared different subjects’ arousal levels when three different types of sexual stimuli were used in the 4 underlying studies? Two studies used a 3-minute film, one study used a 20-second film, and one study used still images. It’s well established that films are far more arousing than photos, so no legitimate research would group these subjects together to make claims about their responses. What’s shocking is that in this paper Prause & Pfaus unaccountably claim that all 4 studies used sexual films:
“The VSS presented in the studies were all films.”
This statement is absoluely false and clearly shown in Prause’s own underlying studies.
A fourth unsupported claim: Dr. Isenberg also asked how Prause & Pfaus compared different subjects’ arousal levels when only 1 of the 4 underlying studies used a 1 to 9 scale. One used a 0 to 7 scale, one used a 1 to 7 scale, and one study did not report sexual arousal ratings. Once again Prause & Pfaus inexplicably claim that:
“men were asked to indicate their level of “sexual arousal” ranging from 1 “not at all” to 9 “extremely.”
This too is false as the underlying papers prove.
In summary, all the Prause-generated headlines about porn improving erections or arousal, or anything else, are completely unsupported. Claims in the Prause & Pfaus paper are falsified by Prause’s own studies underlying the paper.
This article aligns perfectly with what we have seen and experienced. A few excerpts:
Often individuals who engage in scientific fraud are high achievers. They are prominent in their disciplines but seek to be even more recognised for the pre-eminence of their scholarly contributions. Along with their drive for recognition can come charisma and grandiosity, as well as a craving for the limelight. Their productivity can border on the manic. Their narcissism will often result in a refusal to accept the manifest dishonesty and culpability of their conduct. The rationalising and self-justifying books of Stapel and Obokata are examples of this phenomenon.
When criticism is made or doubts are expressed about their work, these scientists often react aggressively. They may threaten whistleblowers or attempt to displace responsibility for their conduct onto others. Such cases can generate persistent challenges in the courts, as the scientists in question deny any form of impropriety.
These fraudulent scientists often use the collaboration of others, including across institutions, to blur the lines of responsibility and make it difficult to identify who has generated particular components of research and whether there has been proper authorisation by relevant ethics committees….
Research misconduct often has multiple elements: data fraud, plagiarism and the exploitation of the work of others. People rarely engage in such conduct as a one-off and frequently engage in multiple forms of such dishonesty, until finally they are exposed.
This intellectual dishonesty damages colleagues, institutions, patients who receive suspect treatments, trajectories of research and confidence in scholarship.
It challenges institutions because those responsible for scientific fraud are often stars in the scholarly firmament and high earners of research funding. They put institutions, be they university departments or research laboratories, on the scholarly map and keep them there.
Exposing their misconduct risks the status of the whole institution and its commercial viability. It’s hardly surprising then that accusations and revelations of such misconduct are often unwelcome, and that too many times the blowtorch of scrutiny is turned on the whistleblower rather than the perpetrator.
Research misconduct generally matters most when it reaches the point of publication. Multiple instances of research fraud have been revealed in recent years, resulting in an unparalleled number of retractions in high profile and reputable journals.
The unpalatable truth is that the check and balance of peer review has repeatedly been shown to be ineffectual, and has been subverted and circumvented. We need to do better if we are to reduce the extent of the phenomenon of fraudulent research.
A second very relevant article: “Blame Bad Incentives For Bad Science.”
A single scientist might be publishing papers, peer-reviewing other peoples’ papers, submitting grants, serving on review committees for other peoples’ grants, editing a journal, applying for a job and serving on a hiring committee — all at the same time. And so the standards for scientific integrity, for rigorous methods, do not reside with the institutions or the funders or the journals. Those standards are within the scientists themselves. The inmates really do run the scientific asylum.
A relevant study: “Need for Drama” is a maladaptive personality trait.
Scientists have begun to investigate a personality trait in which, “people impulsively manipulate others from a position of perceived victimhood.” They have confirmed a three factor model of “Need For Drama” (NFD) consisting of, “interpersonal manipulation, impulsive outspokenness, and persistent perceived victimhood.”
The Need for Drama (NFD) personality can be defined as a compound personality trait in which individuals impulsively manipulate others from a position of perceived victimization. …
We expect individuals with greater NFD to share some characteristics with those who exhibit BPD and HPD features, namely susceptibility to interpersonal conflict, manipulative behaviors, impulsive decision-making, and pervasive perceived victimization. …
For more, see Frankowski, S., Lupo, A. K., Smith, B. A., Dane’El, M., Ramos, C., & Morera, O. F. (2016). “Developing and Testing a Scale to Measure Need for Drama.” Personality and Individual Differences, 89, 192-201.