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back to article Gay hero super-boffin Turing 'may have been murdered by MI5'

Legendary code-breaker and computing boffin Alan Turing - seen by many as the father of modern computing and credited with a huge contribution to the Allied victory in World War Two - may have been murdered by the British security services, it has been claimed. “The government should open a new inquiry into the death of gay war- …

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Anonymous Coward

New Inquiry.

"The government should open a new inquiry into the death of gay war-time code-breaker, mathematical genius and computer pioneer Alan Turing"

Yeah! And 9/11, the JFK Assassination, and ufos and crop circles too!

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Re: New Inquiry.

And Elvis, Hendrix and Jim Morrison.

The fact that Madeline McCann may have also worked for MI5/6 and was just undercover as a small child should not be overlooked and perhaps an investigation into abduction by terrorists and/or state actors should not be ruled out.

Especially cos there's no evidence for any of the above, either, which makes it extra double-plus shifty, of course.

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Re: New Inquiry.

There is no evidence that he was killed by a brick wall falling on his head, or by a rabid dog but neither of these where investigated. I demand someone listen to me!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: New Inquiry.

Please, even suggesting such an idea will bring all the conspiracy nutters out if the woodwork. I mean, they are still looking for the man on the grassy knoll.... The subsequent demands for a national inquiry will at first be turned down, then appealed on the grounds of sex discrimination etc etc, cost millions and millions and for what?

Still, I have heard he was working for the Russians.......

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Admired

I've always admired Peter Tatchell for his tenacity and drive and conviction even though on occasions I have disagreed with him.

This time though he has really come out with a corker, it may make him look a little silly, especially as we all know Turing was killed by the CIA to stop him defecting to the USSR.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: New Inquiry.

Next thing you know these conspiracy nutters will be telling us our governments are collaborating in a massive global plot to spy on every last one of us... loonies!!

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Big Brother

Re: New Inquiry.

...and which rabidly anti-gay organs of the state are to be investigated over the 1327 death of Edward II, reputedly killed by having a red hot poker rammed up his anus?

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Re: New Inquiry.

I heard he was killed by a robot sent from the future to stop HP-UX ever being created

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Re: New Inquiry.

Agreed.

Thought I'd accidentally stumbled onto davidicke.com for a moment there.

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Re: New Inquiry.

What about the aliens? Don't forget the aliens.

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Point of Order

Peter is in fact a human rights activist - he's involved in a lot more than LGBT affairs.

I believe that he's probably jumped the shark on this one, which is a pity because he is, in my opinion, a top bloke. I've had some minor dealings with him regarding trans rights and he's never been less than unfailingly polite and helpful

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Re: I believe that he's probably jumped the shark on this one

My thoughts exactly. I'd really love it if MI5 were 'outed' as his evil executioners, but chances are he was so bitter at his treatment by those who should have lauded his achievements that he topped himself with a broken heart.

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@ TrishaD

"Peter is in fact a human rights activist - he's involved in a lot more than LGBT affairs. I believe that he's probably jumped the shark on this one."

I would not be surprised if, having looked at the newspapers and seeing that both Alan Turing and the NSA have been in the headlines recently, he thought that he could combine and take advantage of the public interest that these two stories have, and use them to launch his own attack on MI5.

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Re: @ TrishaD

Mr Tatchell jumping on a bandwagon? Now there's a surprise. If he kept at doing good in the background he'd be a lot more useful to the LGBT community. This IMHO only sends to make straight people ridicule him.

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Re: @ TrishaD

"the LGBT community"

they've stuck another letter on the end. It's now LGBTI

I still can't make a word though. A vowel please carol.

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Re: @ TrishaD

Perhaps it's synonym of tnetennba

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@ NomNomNom: I'll buy a vowel for...

LeGaBiTrIn = Legabitrin. Or legabiti for short. Obviously.

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Pirate

Re: @ NomNomNom: I'll buy a vowel for...

LeG Before Tit, in lieu of a good stumping.

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Re: @ TrishaD

@Nom

LGBTIA - now including Asexual and Agender folks too! Does that help? =)

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Headmaster

Re: @ TrishaD

" A vowel please carol."

Have an 'A' for Asexual - I think that's sometimes included.

Frankly it would be easier and there would be less changing it about if they just called it EXH - Everyone except heterosexuals.

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Re: @ TrishaD

I always call it the "Gay BLT".

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Stop

Re: TrishaD Re: Point of Order

"Peter is in fact a human rights activist...." Only when those humans are gay or he can use them to bash "The Man". He has shown no interest whatsoever in any cause for any other reason, being a relic of the leftie Gay Liberation Front which started the "Turing gay icon" myth in the first place. The problem for crusaders like him is that as homosexuality has become more accepted and mainstream they have to make more rediculous claims to get the air-time they crave.

"....I believe that he's probably jumped the shark on this one...." Nope, he hasn't jumped the shark as that does not reflect the self-serving opportunism of his claim, he's just trying to drum up attention for his crusade. He knows he can safely make this stupid, attention-seeking comments because there is no way for the secret service to either shut him up or sue him for slander. Please note Tatchall is very careful not to name any individuals in the service as that would leave him open to being sued, he simply smears the lot in one go. What a twat.

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Joke

Re: @ TrishaD

"LGBTIA - now including Asexual and Agender folks too! Does that help?"

I think they ought to have an H for Heterosexual too. That way they can be fully inclusive. If they don't, I'll sue on grounds of discrimination.

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@ Thomas 4 - Re: @ TrishaD

Not enough! I am gay but I kissed a girl and I liked it - comment icon : the reason :) -. Please stop this vile discrimination against me and Katie Perry, or I'll have to ask those at El Reg to terminate your account.

It's now LGBTIAIKAGAILI

Thank you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ TrishaD

How about just calling people Human, and forgetting sexual preference? I can't see how it is anyone else's business who they are attracted to.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ TrishaD

Did QUILTBAG never take off?

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Re: TrishaD Point of Order

@Matt Bryant

"Only when those humans are gay or he can use them to bash "The Man". He has shown no interest whatsoever in any cause for any other reason, being a relic of the leftie Gay Liberation Front which started the "Turing gay icon" myth in the first place. The problem for crusaders like him is that as homosexuality has become more accepted and mainstream they have to make more rediculous claims to get the air-time they crave"

As might be expected, an almost entirely fact-free response.

His last successful campaign, conducted jointly with David Davies, the well known Trotskyite Conservative MP, was to repeal Section 5 of the Public Order Act, seeking to decriminalise mere insults in the interests of free speech. So if you want to call me or him a faggot, go right ahead - its legal. Because of Peter Tatchell.

Most of his campaigns for gay rights are now focussed on the international stage where homosexual rights are not 'accepted and mainstream' at all. You may recall he was beaten to a pulp by Robert Mugabe's goons for doing so.

Someone else has commented on the alphabet soup that is GLBTI etc. One important point to understand however is that Trans rights are not the same thing as Gay rights. Some trans people are gay but many are heterosexual. One reason I'm a supporter of Peter is that he's as passionate about trans rights as he is about gay rights. Unlike established pressure groups like Stonewall who specifically exclude trans people from their remit.

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Re: Point of Order

I agree that Peter Tatchell is more than a LGBT campaigner, but he does sometimes waste his time on trivia.

This Turing story is one of them, but my favourite is his championing of the demands of the 4.5 people (and a spaniel) in Cornwall who want independence.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/nov/10/cornwall

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Re: @ TrishaD @steve davies

In Tatchell's line of work being ridiculed by straight people is something of a given. And he isn't much of a bandwagon jumper. He is one of those who start wagons rolling in the first place.

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Re: TrishaD Point of Order

"the leftie Gay Liberation Front which started the "Turing gay icon" myth in the first place."

So are you saying Turing is a myth, that he was gay is a myth, or that he is an icon is a myth?

Or are you just talking shit?

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Joke

Re: John Brown Re: @ TrishaD

"I think they ought to have an H for Heterosexual too. That way they can be fully inclusive. If they don't, I'll sue on grounds of discrimination." Yeah, and what about a P for the paedos and a B for the Welsh, and then we can get a really good Scrabble score!

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Re: TrishaD Point of Order

>So are you saying Turing is a myth, that he was gay is a myth, or that he is an icon is a myth?

He was an icon and he was gay that doesn't make him a "gay icon" anymore than Tutte was a straight icon.

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WTF?

Re: TrishaD Re: TrishaD Point of Order

".....As might be expected, an almost entirely fact-free response....." Aw, Trishiebunny, I note you dodge discussing Tatchell's association with the Gay Liberation Front, that the GLF invented the Turing myth of being hounded to suicide, Thatchell's only recent attacks on Zimbabwe having spent years avoiding criticising anti-gay Communist countries like Cuba (the GLF nutters used to like wearing Che Guevera T-shirts, something I always thought really demonstrated that the sheeple's stupidity is asexual given Che's well-known homophobic stance), and how Tatchell only ever jumps on bandwagons (David Davis was the originator of the motion to repeal that bit of the DPA, Tatchell was asked to join to stop others accusing Davis of being anti-gay).

".....So if you want to call me or him a faggot, go right ahead - its legal....." And yet if I were to the PC crowd would be all over me, accusing me of being a homophobic Fascist or the like. It may be legal, but it is still not ACCEPTABLE to call someone a faggot, the threat now not being of legal punishment but instead of being hounded by the PC crowd. Which is really funny as a black colleague of mine is quite happy to refer to himself as a "ass-loving gay nigger" (which would never be acceptable for me to say in public even though he is happy to). Indeed, you steer well clear of discussing Tatchell's history and prefer to seek to stifle me by inferring I must be a homophobe to question Tatchell's motives and behaviour - how hypocritical of you!

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Boffin

Re: Sheep Re: TrishaD Point of Order

"....So are you saying Turing is a myth, that he was gay is a myth, or that he is an icon is a myth?....." Turing was a genius, a loyal Britain and his work and achievements should be celebrated. Unfortunately, that's kinda hard when a certain group insist on revisioning history to suit their socio-political agenda. In the Seventies, the Gay Liberation Front (formed in the UK at that mindless bastion of British Socialism, the LSE) deliberately took the Turing story and started telling a different version as part of their schpiel. This included the two accusations that ignored the known facts - an insistence that Turing committed suicide, and that he was hounded to his death by The Establishment. Now the really ironic bit is the same group that pretended to put him on a pedestal tend to race past his scientific achievements - I had one hilarious encounter in the Eighties with an GLF activist that shrieked about Turing's greatness and his "terrible treatment" but couldn't actually name the scientific field Turing had worked in! For the GLF sheeple, the fact that he was gay and the myth of his being hounded had become so centre stage they had no idea what the man actually did in his lifetime. That bit of gay propaganda has become so common that many calmly and unquestioningly accept both the unproven suicide theory and groundless accusations of hounding as historical facts. Those that dared to question were instantly labelled as homophobic regardless of their motives.

".....Or are you just talking shit?" Since you obviously have to ask, Turing had completed his hormone treatment (in lieu of jail time) and his sentence was considered served over a year before his death. In that year, whilst he was formally barred from working on classified projects (which he would have been for any criminal conviction, including a conviction of heterosexual curb-crawling), his academic work was unaffected. In fact, apart from being barred entry to the USA (and the US can and do bar for many convictions even today), his professional life was relatively unchanged after his conviction, and some would say LESS changed than if he had been a heterosexual academic charged with curb-crawling. You may start your remedial reading here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing

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Re: TrishaD TrishaD Point of Order

....." Aw, Trishiebunny, I note you dodge discussing Tatchell's association with the Gay Liberation Front"

Oh, stop being so pathetic, Bryant.... I've not dodged anything. I've no interest in what Peter Tatchell (or anyone else for that matter) was doing 30 years ago. The 1970s and 1980s Trots grew up and got regular jobs years ago. I imagine they're all now moaning about their mortgages and voting Conservative by now. Tatchell's stuck to his human rights guns and whether you agree with him or not, he deserves credit for doing so even if he does get it wrong from time to time.

"Indeed, you steer well clear of discussing Tatchell's history and prefer to seek to stifle me by inferring I must be a homophobe to question Tatchell's motives and behaviour - how hypocritical of you!"

When I said 'you can call me or him a faggot', the 'you' was generic. I'd have thought that was blindingly obvious. I have no idea if you're a homophobe or not - in fact I suspect that you're not. You do strike me as a bit of a prat though, I'm afraid.

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WTF?

Re: Trishiebunny Re: TrishaD TrishaD Point of Order

".... I've no interest in what Peter Tatchell (or anyone else for that matter) was doing 30 years ago....." Really? In a forum thread on a rediculous allegation that MI5 killed Turing over sixty years ago? On which you seemd to have enough interest to post your unquestioning faith in Mr Tatchell? I suppose it is easier for the sheeple to just try and forget some of the hilariously stupid stuff their icons got up to in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties.

"....Tatchell's stuck to his human rights guns....." No, he has realised the niche for gay protesting is drying up as it has become mainstream and so has diverisified into "human rights" (with gay overtones) in order to try and stay relevant. Oh, sorry, I suppose you like to assume only Tory politicians or activists are cynical?

"....When I said 'you can call me or him a faggot', the 'you' was generic...." What, now we're all homophobic if we're not GLBTI?

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Coat

just add Hets and you get BLIGHT

[* ducks *] [* runs *]

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Re: Trishiebunny TrishaD TrishaD Point of Order

"Really? In a forum thread on a rediculous allegation that MI5 killed Turing over sixty years ago?"

Why yes, Matt, really.

If you turn your mind back to what I actually said (rather than some figment of your imagination) I said that, much as I admire him, he'd jumped the shark on this one. I have no interest in what MI5 did over sixty years ago any more than I have any interest in what Peter T did thirty years ago

"What, now we're all homophobic if we're not GLBTI?"

Stop being a dick. I didnt say that. You know I didnt say that. Everyone else knows I didnt say that.

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Re: Trishiebunny TrishaD TrishaD Point of Order

"Stop being a dick"

Unfortunately Trish, there's a dick like Bryant trolling every forum on the Net. The more he annoys, the better it makes him feel. This speaks volumes about the kind of person he is and his motives to offend and annoy. I'd imagine him to be a totally insignificant person face to face. Here, his odious 'bravado' gives him a sense of power, and the more disdain he receives the more his choleric nature is stimulated.

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Re: @ TrishaD

Don't for get "a-gender", as in "agender", not "a gender".

I only learned of that one a few weeks ago. Maybe it's an SF thing?

As for Turing being purportedly killed by the CIA, maybe it was the CIA's doing at the behest of MI-5? Never forget, such agencies thrive on "plausible denial", tho I concede I have no stake in their involvement one way or the other.

Also, for those of us who never knew what Turing looked like, I always presumed an older, rounded-more oval-shaped head, with balding hair. Then, on seeing his photo here on theRegister, I was disapponted that there was not a game of "guess what photo is really that of Turing".

Years ago, someone did some app or web page asking people to pick the face they imagine to be that of a famous person they'd never seen in photos or in real life. Many people purportedly are very bad at associating correct photos with names. Still, it makes for an intriguing game.

Imagine, though, if Turing lived, and that so-called civilized countries' governments had no McCarthyism apoplexies afflicting them, and that he inspired other, mathematically and scientifically-minded closet cases or gay-tolerant/accepting researchers to feel safe in the world. Such people might exist even in the absence of people like Turing, but imagine if more thrived in research -- cryptographically-minded people from that era might be as good as if not better than human-programmed computers at attacking HIV/AIDs problems, closing in on cures for it as well as for cancers, flus, the common cold, and all number of other malades of our and their times.

When will we ever truly learn from our ignorance that intolerance, abuse, witch hunts, fear, and fear-mongering don't do us much good? OK, off of my horse and platform and on to hobbies.

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Happy

Re: Dohzee Re: Trishiebunny TrishaD TrishaD Point of Order

Unfortunately Trish, there's a dick like RobZee trolling every forum on the Net. The more he thinks he annoys those that he disagrees but can't actually debate with, the better it makes him feel. This speaks volumes about the kind of person he is and his motives to offend and annoy. I'd imagine him to be a totally insignificant person face to face. Here, his lack of any actual argument or theorem is painfully obvious, and he has to hide it by trying (and failing) to be smart.

TFIFY. ROFLMAO.

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Re: Point of Order

Can't stand the bloke or his politics but you gotta love him for trying to arrest Robert Mugabe.

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To be fair, the investigation was fairly brief at the time and wouldn't have been considered sufficient to reach the conclusion of suicide these days. That said, I read a theory that his death was accidental, and that he'd accidentally got cyanide from his home laboratory on to the apple (apparently he was quite careless in his lab and had been electrocuted several times, plus his friends suggested he was in good spirits at the time and he had been off the court mandated medication for around a year)

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What an amazing man!

"... and had been electrocuted several times .."

Not many people could deal with that.

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Re: What an amazing man!

True. Should be "received several electric shocks" as electrocution is what happens when you die from a shock.

Speaking as one who has had qiite a few shocks in my career, they're not all that much fun even when you don't get electrocuted.

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"That said, I read a theory that his death was accidental, and that he'd accidentally got cyanide from his home laboratory on to the apple (apparently he was quite careless in his lab and had been electrocuted several times, plus his friends suggested he was in good spirits at the time and he had been off the court mandated medication for around a year)"

I was under the impression that he tried to make it look accidental to some degree, and wanted it to at least be viable that it was accidental rather than suicide in order to give his own family a little bit of solace.

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Paris Hilton

Re: What an amazing man!

I guess the second shock could have restarted his heart...

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@Psyx

I don't understand why you were downvoted for making a perfectly reasonable point.

While there was certainly a huge stigma attached to homosexuality at the time, there was also a huge stigma attached to suicide.

Giving his family & friends the option to think it an accident rather than suicide would be a possible comfort.

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>and that he'd accidentally got cyanide from his home laboratory

IIRC they called it a lab @ inquest - but he'd actually been gold plating his cutlery in the spare bedroom.

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