If your dad is a Dead Sea Scrolls scholar and someone disputes his theory of the scrolls' origins, the logical thing to do is to impersonate one of his leading critics (and submit a confession of plagiarism under his name) and create dozens of fake email accounts to attack the other critics, right? Raphael Haim Golb, 50, on trial for identity theft, criminal impersonation and aggravated harassment, claims his actions were just what Voltaire would have done, "I used the methods of satire, irony, parody and any other form of verbal rhetoric that became the type of language used by philosophers during the Enlightenment to expose the irrational arguments of their opponents."

Golb, a lawyer himself, claimed that he sent the plagiarism confession emails— under the name of NYU professor Lawrence Schiffman—to NYU to get the school to investigate the professor. The Times reports, "He added that he 'purposely wrote them in an outlandish manner so people couldn’t believe it was Schiffman.' Mr. Golb pointed out, for instance, that he used a small “P” in the word professor, something that Professor Schiffman would not actually have done. He said that using the nickname 'Larry' in the e-mail address was an element of humor. He also said that no professor would ever e-mail someone at his own university and admit to plagiarism."

Golb's defense claims he's allowed to resort to such means to expose academic fraud. And what's the tiff all about? The Post explains:

Golb’s dad

believes the ancient words were penned near Jerusalem and stored in libraries in and around the holy city. But when Roman attackers sacked the city, fleeing Jews took the scrolls and hid them in caves near the Dead Sea, Golb has said.

This theory is considered a minority view in ancient history circles, and academics targeted by Raphael Golb believe the scrolls were written by Jews living near the caves where they were found.