How, one wonders, could such an extraordinarily unscholarly article appear in a serious magazine like Terrorism and Political Violence?
My first idea was that it simply got there, possibly through political friendships. However PierLuigi Zoccatelli actually claims it was peer reviewed ("peer" in this case is something of a misnomer: the reviewers, I imagine, would be professional scholars and not lawyers).
It is very difficult to imagine a group of university professors reading through Introvigne's article and not suspecting something. Of course, some facts are almost impossible to check outside of Italy, like Orion's record on cults.
However, other references could have been checked, like the alleged anti-cult contents of Ummah Net: it took me only a few minutes on line to do so, and even the most old-fashioned academics are giving in to Internet.
And it takes no information other than that provided by Introvigne himself to see that neither the four-pronged plot nor anti-cult violence exist.
And I think anybody would have something to say about that semantic jewel of Introvigne's, "the extreme discourse of the most lunatic anti-cult fringe." Just in the name of common sense and linguistic decency.
This is certainly not the first time in recent years that scholarly publications have been taken off guard. Editors of Social Text are still smarting from the hoax played on them by Prof. Alan Sokal. It should however be said in their defence that Sokal had better credentials than Introvigne (being a professor of physics at New York University) and that his article at a first glance appeared to be far better written than Introvigne's.
So I think the question of how Introvigne's
article ever got into Terrorism and Political Violence, and exactly
where his peers were at the time, should best be posed to the editorial
board and to other writers on the same journal, whose names I have taken
from the website of the editors.
Abiodun Alao, Chris Alden, Kenneth Anderson,
Dick Anthony, Thomas J Badey Andrea Bahamon, Jeffery M Bale, Michael Barkun,
Gabriel Ben-Dor, Judith Bessant, Tore Bjorgo, Scott A Bollens, David W
Brannan, Steve Bruce, Robert J Bunker, S Byrne, James K Campbell, Christopher
Campany, Kathleen A Cavanaugh, Gérard Chaliand, Peter Chalk, David
A Charters, Jakki Cilliers, Frank J Cilluffo, Raphael Cohen-Almagor, Irwin
Cotler, John M Cotter, Ronald D Crelinsten, Martha Crenshaw, Nicholas A
Damask, Michael Dartnell, James Dingley, Maria Do Ceú Pinto, C J
M Drake, Martin Durham, David Claridge, Matt G Devost, William L Eubank,
Katrine Fangen, Gil Feiler, Thomas Flanagan, Jonathan Fox, Joseph W Foxell
Jr., Elizabeth Francis, Robert O Freedman, Hillel Frisch, Eugene V Gallagher,
Curt H Gergely, Mircea Gheordunescu, Jeremy Ginges, Avishag Gordon, W Gutteridge,
Robert P Hager, Haggay Ram, Graham Head, Christopher Hewitt, Bruce Hoffman,
Donna Kim Hoffman, Adam Holm, Jr., John Horgan, Brian K Houghton, Rex A
Hudson, Judith Hudson, Efraim Inbar, Raphael Israeli, Stanley S Jacobs,
Brian M Jenkins, Sally L Jenkinson, Alexander Johnston, Albert J Jongman,
Mark Juergensmeyer, Jeffrey Kaplan, Ely Karmon, G Kassimeris, Robert Kennedy,
Menachem Klein, Michael Knights, Joseph Kostiner, Jacob M Landau, Anat
Lapidot, Martha F Lee, Milton Leitenberg, Victor T Le Vine, Randall D Lloyd,
Juliet Lodge, Helene Loow, Kevin A O'Brien, Bruce Maddy-Weitzman, Ravi
Mahalingam, Omar Malik, Mack R Margolies Beitler, Mariani, Francis H Marlo,
Emanuel Marotta, T David Mason, Ariel Merari, Peter Merkl, Abraham H Miller,
William H Miller, Taiji Miyaoka, Rachel Monaghan, Muhammad Hasan Amara,
John Murphy, Kerry Noble, Roy Pateman, Augusto Pérez, Amos Perlmutter,
Dennis A Pluchinsky, Elie Podeh, Neal Allen Pollard, David Rapoport, Xavier
Raufer, Anthony Richards, Louise Richardson, Thomas Robbins, Reinaldo L
Román, Richard Rosecrance, Jean E Rosenfeld, Barbara A Salert, Gamini
Samaranayake, Shmuel Sandler, Todd Sandler, Jayne Seminare Docherty, Paul
Sant Cassia Alex P. Schmid, Bjørn Schreiber Pedersen, Marvin B Shaffer,
Mark Shaw, Andrew Silke, Keith Somerville, J E Spence, Ehud Sprinzak, Peter
Alan Sproat, Peter St. John, P G Steinhoff, Kenneth Szymkowiak, Bron Taylor,
Max Taylor, Lorenzo Valeri, David Veness, Rodney Wallis, Gabriel R Warburg,
Manabu Watanabe, Leonard B Weinberg, David Welsh, Michael Wesley, Michael
Whine, Robert W White, Brad Whitsel, Philip C Wilcox Jr., Paul Wilkinson,
Helmut Willems, Joanne Wright, Stuart A Wright, Eyal Zisser.