[Has anyone heard this before? I think they are crazy. I’ve got one domain of mine blocked for a good reason (it is religious-themed and I’ve got other adult names on my servers and I don’t want them mixed somehow) and I’m trying to sell it on Flippa and Flippa gives this big warning that Google may be penalizing it because I have the whois blocked. Yet I’m #1 on Google for my main keyword beating out some pretty stiff competition from huge sites on the topic. Has anyone heard of this Google penalty before?]
I have been in this business for many years and have never seen anything that suggests your assertion is true.
For one, search engines have no way to know where the spam originated from or who originated the spam, therefore they have no way to know who, or which website should be penalized.
Since they have absolutely no way to know the origin of the spam, how would whois data play a role? If they assumed all spam originates from the target of said spam it would be a reliable method of targeting your competitors for penalties. Trust me, that doesn’t work.
From my experience, the only web pages that get punished for spam are the web pages that allow the spam to be posted and remain on the page. Those pages seem to have the trust reduced which devalues those backlinks.