I am stunned. I have been so disconnected with the Scientology-related issue over the years that I was completely unaware that Dave Bird passed away on Feb.10 of this year (ironically the same day as one of the biggest Anonymous protest against Scientology, which I am sure he would have loved to attend or at least to see).
I just got a hint of his demise today, reading this ARS post,then confirmed my suspicions through a Google search that led me to David Gerard's R.I.P page on Dave.
Even though Dave was a staunch (and some may say obsessed) opponents of mine, making posts after posts calling me "Barnie", "Barmpot the barmy Belgian", and comparing me to Barney the purple dinosaure because what I was saying made for him no more sense than what the child mascot was blatering, I cannot help feeling deeply sad learning of him having passed away.
I always remembered Dave upon seeing the Rubeus Hagrid character in Harry Potter's movie. A gentle giant with a big beard and a big heart. Of course, "gentle" would not exactly describe Dave's impetuous character, but one thing I know for sure, is that he did have a big heart, and his anger with me was prompted by his sincere activism and involvement against what he considered an evil cult, and me "defending" it.
All of a sudden, I do miss his harangues on ARS and his lyricism in his essay on me: "Hercule Barmpot: the Case of the Missing Marbles", in which he displayed a real talent for writing stories.
Rest in peace, Dave. Even though I do not think your arguments and tactics with me were right, I am certain that your heart-felt involvement in severals causes which you deeply and sincerely felt for will speak favorably for you up there.