It's puzzling that the article vaguely casts aspersions on [...] John Matlock, because there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with [him]. Matlock uses a staff of writers (from his own web site), so he can't be ranked. The article says that Matlock "took a holiday from Amazon", when he was actually harassed off of Amazon -to the detriment of customers. [...]This post is a deliberate crude lie. It is a lie because John Matlock "Gunny" had operated as one of the Top Reviewers (No.6?) for years, as an individual, not a team. He was a classical example of an obnoxious fraud who posted multiple reviews daily, half a dozen, dozen, pick your number; all five stars, no exceptions. Go check his posting history and see for yourself.
Once his good works started to attract attention and people started posting comments under his reviews asking if it's possible that all of so many books are all five stars and whether a human can read that much to begin with, he tried to 'explain' (away) the mind-boggling size of his reviewing output by saying that, no, he doesn't read these books; he is a public face of a team of reviewers (17?) who post under his name. That happened only after he was pushed against the wall as it were and after years of posting as an individual and holding some high Top Reviewer status.
Whether one chooses to believe this 'explanation' or not is one's decision -- personally, I don't believe it (his thoroughly imbecile reviews were all written in a very consistent individual style and also, why would a bunch of people labour in obscurity and then post the results of their hard work under someone else's name?). But however you look at it, one thing is clear: he was engaged in fraud for years -- whether it's because he was 'fronting' a group of scribblers yet posed as a Top Reviewer (who, according to Amazon rules, must be individuals), or because he was working alone but kept reviewing books he didn't read -- couldn't have! too many --, doesn't really matter: either way it was wrong.
'misrareviews' was active on Amazon and the Board during all this time, including the time when Gunny finally got defrocked; lurid details of this wretched saga were discussed on the Board and elsewhere ad nauseam, and so 'misrareviews' knows what the real story is VERY DAMN WELL, and yet s/he spews lies in a desperate attempt to rearrange reality in a way that would make Gunny look like an innocent victim of a savage persecution. Corporate solidarity, no? What else could it be. These guys have no fucking shame; all they know is probably, today it's Gunny or HK, tomorrow who knows, maybe it'll be them, and so they close ranks no matter what.
As far as Gunny's being 'harrassed' off Amazon, well, I'd rather say chased away, but otherwise I agree with this. Except he should have been 'harrassed' off Amazon years earlier, and not by alert, suspicious customers, but by Amazon themselves. And of course, no one has literally the power to chase anyone away from Amazon, he simply appears to have stopped posting anything there -- though, as I would imagine, the commentary under his reviews and elsewhere (press articles and blogs) played its role in his decision. I think it was a wise decision on his part; one only wishes Harriet Klausner and some other similar 'reviewers' did the same.
As far as his departure's being to the detriment of customers, I think not: to the contrary: it was his shameless shilling that was to the detriment of customers -- he 'reviewed' thousands of pages' worth of printed matter daily; frequently scientific/technology books which would take even a trained, competent person months to read; in addition, his reviews were quite imbecile, which demonstrated that not only wasn't he reading these books: he coulnd't possibly understand them even if he tried to read them; and finally, again, all his reviews were five stars, all three and a half thousand of them. Detriment? A departure of a fraudulent asshole like that was a benefit to customers.