The explanation is that Turnoi and the others receive psychological self-gratification from all these posts. They believe that they're helping people 'know the truth' and thus they are important.
I think Turnoi is quite a religious person. I'm not suggesting that his behaviour is because he is religious. It's just that there are some people of whom we can only "envy their freedom from the taint of self doubt". (I can't find on the internet who first said that. i wonder if that means I can claim it was me).
I think that we all recognise that there are some good EF schools. (I of course know this for a fact from personal experience) and I've seen people say that there are good agents. Stil, absolutist opinions about language mills and agents do have a purpose. For a newbie looking to come to China, on the basis of probability it's probably best to avoid. If I tell you that I played Russian Roulette and survivved, that doesn't mean that everybody should copy me. Perhaps a nice game of Gin Rummy might be a better idea.
So the behaviour of Turnoi and his ilk do have their roots in a semblance of logic, even though they do come across as unappetising human beings. I'm just thankful that they're there and not here, (as far as i know. I myself have a different username on Dave's).
When i joined raoul's I used a different username. Let's be clear. I wasn't anywhere near as bad as the Fundies on the Spoon, but when i first came to China I posted there and, given how easy it is to confuse expressing strong opinions with just being a dick, there may have been the odd post that I didn't think reflected the best me. It was easy for me to get sucked into that poisonous culture over there.
I'm not trying to suck up to Raoul and the other mods, but when I joined here and read the history and guidelines, I felt like the saloon reflected a few years of experience and wisdom of running these kind of forums. There's expected behaviours, and I've decided to go along with it.
To get to the point, I don't believe there's a conspiracy at the Spoon to pump up the controversy. It's merely that everyone, both the posters and the mods, get to feel like worthwhile human beings behaving as they do. I think they'd be sorely mistaken in that assumption, and it's a pity if it's seen as a reflection of the wider laowai community. Still there are worse cesspits of forum proto-humanity out there; China Daily for one.