>But, Moth, I'm not Preton an I'm not Cropredy yet they have both been greeted in the same manner as Mike.
Another 'Eh?' from me, I'm afraid. I said that I'm less sure that you're not Mike. Don't know what you're getting at with "I'm not Preton an I'm not Cropredy".
I would say that Mike got a rough ride because many of us already knew of him and thought he was responsible for vandalising ancient sites. He didn't by any means hurry to deny this*, was invariably deliberately oblique and evasive, always superior and patronising, and frequently nasty and spiteful. He deserved a rough ride and deserved to be banned for his general lack of respect for other people. I agree he was often treated with little respect, but he did nothing to earn it. (*To me, he never did seem to make it clear whether he was responsible for any vandalism!)
When Cropredy arrived, I remember feeling that everyone was on their guard (mainly as a result of experiences with Mike) & perhaps would usually have been MORE welcoming. Admittedly there's always been a lot of scepticism on this forum about earth-energies and the like when brought up. But as with other dowsers before him, other than close and sceptical questioning, I don't remember Cropredy getting an particularly UNpleasant greeting. Once he'd been here for a while, people started to get frustrated with his uproven energies and his repeated wild speculation about it. From what I remember, even at that point there were only ever one or 2 people who seemed to get inexplicably personal about it.
Preton has got a sharp welcome that was inevitable and justified because his manner is as 'bad' in terms of condescension etc as Mike's. It's an incredibly bad way of coming over when combined with ideas that people are likely to find outlandish or implausible. Personally, I initially totally ignored the post as the attitude adopted made me think it was someone taking the piss. If Preton's manner was less superior, then he'd've probably got healthy skepticism and the odd jibe. (Though, unsurprisingly, people here seem even less welcoming of 'unconventional' ideas 'post-Mike'.)
That's my honest take on it fwiw and likely (never say never) to be me last word....