UPDATE

AS OF JANUARY 1, 2013 - POSTING ON THIS BLOG WILL NO LONGER BE 'DAILY'. SWITCHING TO 'OCCASIONAL' POSTING.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Julia Bish marries yet again in Las Vegas

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Bolivia, North Carolina Man's Wife, Julia Bish, Charged With Bigamy
By: Latricia Thomas

It's supposed to be the most memorable day of your life, but for one Bolivia man, the day he said "I do" is one he wishes he could forget. It turns out his wife is not just "his" wife.

A quaint Las Vegas chapel, family and friends, a white dress...all the ingredients for a perfect wedding. But for Mark Hunt of Bolivia it turned out to be a nightmare. This military man met his bride four months before on the internet. He said, "I was looking around to see who I could talk to and she responded."

She is thirty-two year old Julia Bish. Mark and his parents met her face to face for the first time on the wedding trip. Right away, something just didn't make sense. Hunt's mother, Joanne, says, "She had a picture on the internet and it did not look like her."

Mark recalls, "It just got worse. I didn't hear from her for periods of time and I started figuring out something was wrong but I didn't know what it was."

Little did he know, the worst was yet to come. Months after the wedding, Mark and his family found out Julia was already married. She has five children with Randy Bish, her husband of fourteen years who lives in Pennsylvania.

Mark said he, "just broke down, couldn't go no more, I finally had to confront her face to face to find out exactly what was going on. And that's when the truth finally came out."



This isn't the first time Julia married another man. We found the record of another wedding in June of 2002 to a Lawrence Judah of Oklahoma. He later annulled the marriage, a process that Mark Hunt is going through right now. Hunt's father, Richard, says, "For somebody to put a scam like that on a trusting individual that you get close to, that's wrong, that's criminal."

Julia faces two counts of bigamy. It's a misdemeanor that could bring two years in prison and a five thousand dollar fine. NewsChannel 3 has also learned that Julia's first husband is fighting for custody of their five children.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

ED HICK'S LATEST VICTIM TO APPEAR ON GMA

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On Thursday, December 15, 2005, Ed Hicks' latest victim, Barbara Grant will appear on ABC's Good Morning America with her sister, Linda Hembree.

Linda recognized Ed Hicks during Dr. Phil's Monday show, Conned by a Con Artist. Linda called Barbara and then called the police. Ed Hicks was arrested shortly thereafter on a fugitive warrant for the felony of bigamy.

Hicks met Grant via an ONLINE DATING SITE.

Ed Hicks currently sits in a jail cell in Mecklenberg County North Carolina where he is fighting extradition to Chesapeake, Virginia.

Ed Hicks had proposed marriage to Barbara Grant just two weeks ago. At the time, she declined the proposal, but Linda Hambree believes the two would have eventually wed. He is still married to Sandra Hicks and an annulment between Ed Hicks and Julie Flint-Hicks was just finalized in late October. Sandra Phipps-Hicks has filed for an annulment or a divorce, depending on the decision of a Fairfax County, Virginia judge. Her civil case against Ed Hicks will be heard on January 4, 2006.



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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Friday, December 09, 2005

VIRGINIA MAN INDICTED ON BIGAMY CHARGE

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He escaped trial in Fairfax County this year, but now he faces a case in Chesapeake
BY PAUL BRADLEY
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER

From: THE RICHMOND-TIMES DISPATCH

An Alexandria man who has been married seven times in the past 40 years was indicted yesterday by a Chesapeake grand jury on a bigamy charge.

Charles Edward Hicks, 61, was charged with marrying a former Chesapeake woman, Julie Flint, in 1997 while he was still legally married to Rose Marie Sewell. Flint was Hicks' sixth wife, Sewell his fifth.

According to court papers and marriage licenses, Hicks married Flint on April 15, 1997. His divorce from Sewell, whom he wed in 1995, did not become final until May 6, 1997 -- three weeks after Hicks and Flint exchanged vows.

Bigamy, a rarely invoked crime in Virginia, is a felony, punishable by a minimum of two years in jail and a maximum of 10.

Marriage licenses and divorce decrees show that four of Hicks' marriages overlapped, taking place while he was married to someone else. The indictment handed up by the Chesapeake grand jury marks the second time Hicks has been indicted on a bigamy charge in Virginia.

In July, Hicks was indicted by a Fairfax County grand jury on that charge. But he avoided going to trial, slipping through a loophole in Virginia law.

Hicks was charged in Fairfax with marrying his seventh wife, Sandra Goldin, in 2003 while still married to Flint-Hicks. But a quirk in Virginia law led prosecutors to drop the charge.

Under Virginia law, if someone who is already married weds a second time, the two-timer is guilty of bigamy. But that second marriage is considered invalid. That means legally speaking, Hicks and Flint-Hicks were never husband and wife. That, in turn, made the Hicks-Goldin marriage legal, leading Fairfax prosecutors to drop their case against Hicks.

Fairfax prosecutors then contacted Chesapeake prosecutors, urging them to consider charging Hicks.

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Goldin, who has been pressing authorities to prosecute Hicks, said she was pleased that he had been indicted.

"I am hoping he will be incarcerated and this will stop him from victimizing other women," the Fairfax woman said. She has filed for divorce.

Hicks' many marriages will be featured next week on an episode of the "Dr. Phil" television show. (to air 12/12/05)


Contact staff writer Paul Bradley at pbradley@timesdispatch.com or (703) 548-8758.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Friday, December 02, 2005

Legislator considers an online dating law



Legislator considers an online dating law

By Matt Adrian

SPRINGFIELD -- A Southern Illinois Democrat is considering legislation requiring online dating services to perform criminal background checks to weed out predators that might be lurking on the Internet.

State Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, said he was surprised to learn that these services were not required to perform background checks on members.

"One thing I was trying to come up with is a way to make sure you have a simple background check on somebody before you allow them to advertise," he said. "It seems to me that there should at least be a non-sex-offender requirement."

Bradley said he is considering creating legislation to address this potential problem, but a trade group representing the industry argues the regulation is unnecessary could be expensive and ineffective.

Rich Gosse, founder of the International Association of Dating Web sites, a trade group with over 100 members, said lawmakers mistakenly view online dating as more dangerous than other forms of meeting people.

"We recommend to people that they use common sense when dating on the Internet. Internet dating is not anymore safe or anymore dangerous than any other method of meeting people," he said. "I tell people that you can meet people in church and they could be a hatchet murderer."

Nationally, the Web site True.com has pushed for states to require online dating background checks, a practice that the Texas-based company does itself in least 44 states and Washington, D.C. However, these checks are not always statewide in scope.

In November, True.com filed a lawsuit against a California man who was convicted in 2001 of attempted lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14. The man had filled out a questionnaire on the Web site stating he was not a felon.

"I challenge the rest of the online and relationship and dating industry to follow our lead and show similar concern for their members' safety," said Herb Vest, the company's founder and CEO, in a related press release.

However, other dating services view the company's proposal as a ploy to push its competitors out of business.

"They are trying to get government to create a monopoly," Gosse said.

Gosse also suggests that in-depth criminal background checks can be expensive and still not uncover a felon's record.

"They still won't be 100 percent safe," he said. "There is no way of doing a criminal background check on somebody all over the country that will go through every courthouse in the United States."

Requiring more background investigations have become a popular for lawmakers.

During the recent veto session, the Illinois General Assembly approved legislation requiring medical schools to perform checks on potential students.

The soonest lawmakers could debate such a proposal would be in January.

matt.adrian@lee.net

Saturday, November 26, 2005

HOW TO STALK ONLINE!

(Sometimes we can't believe what is out there on the Net. The Net can do so much good, and at the same time SO MUCH HARM!!! Read this piece on "Stalking People on IRC (Internet Relay Chat)" - take heed, many of these things can be done on many Instant Messaging programs!! - and our kudos to wildxangel.com for finding this one! - Fighter )

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STALKING PEOPLE ON IRC

(NOTE:
No one is telling you that you should go out and utilize these ideas. Informational purposes, etc. )

Find out all that you can
This is common knowledge for anyone with a lot of IRC experience, but if your mark is really stupid and put their real email address in the "email" field, you can /ctcp finger and a few seconds later you have some valuable information. Once you have their email, go looking for their personal web pages.

Example:
[Dumbsh*t FINGER reply]: Latoya Jackson (f*ck@you.com) Idle 146 seconds
Assuming you've found a real idiot, you now have your mark's real name and email address. Try variations such as these to find their home web page:

www.you.com/~f*ck
www.you.com/f*ck
web.you.com/~f*ck

Or, you can just visit the internet provider's web page at www.theirISP.com. Oftentimes, they have a search engine that searches their entire site. Try entering everything you know about the user--real name, irc nick...everything.

Social Engineering
After you've tormented your mark into crying, log on with a TOTAL different internet provider, ident (found in Mirc at file/setup/ident/uder id) and nick. Join the channel your new friend frequents and seem really sympathetic about all the misery he/she is going through. Sometimes it only takes a few hours to extract really personal information out of someone, if you're clever enough.

Dammit, they changed their nick
If the person hasn't set himself to 'invisible mode,' you can /who their IP and you can see everyone on IRC with the same IP. Look through them and see which one resembles the mark.

Example:
/who *you.com*
(Yes, you need the asterisks.)

And hope the IP they use isn't a popular one.

Friday, November 25, 2005

ANOTHER CORPORATE CYBERPATH EXPOSED!



Jerk A Rich Jerk's Chain

This rich jerk got rich at our expense so it is time he was exposed. Read and see what this satyr is about because obnoxious gets a new dimension if you let a rich jerk loose to become a 12 month millionaire.

By Michael Knight

Have you noticed that being a crass self-aggrandizing rich jerk is what some already-rich people do best - and the Internet gives them a worldwide grandstand to play their games on?

Well if you have ever wanted to be really rich (hope springs eternal, and there is indeed hope) I hope you never become one of them, because it is time for one type of rich jerk to be exposed - and I mean one particular rich jerk.

I have personally interacted with some of the world's best-known marketers, but I have never - NEVER - come across anyone as up themselves as this guy.

The story goes like this.

As a copy writer myself, I like to swipe ideas and hints and clues from other copy writers. Some of them think they are better than me. At least, that's what they believe. And apparently so does this rich jerk.

They tell us about the hundreds of millions of dollars in sales their work has generated, and we have no choice but to believe them, even if we don't want to, when they point us to the evidence of their bank accounts.

So here's a really rich jerk who is making tens of thousands every month, driving a Ferrari between trips to his island in the South Pacific and living the life of, well, a rich jerk.

This guy claims he only works a few hours a week, and he says anyone else can become a rich jerk just like him if they do what he did. Then they'll get what he's got. Not many friends, but a lot of money - and he likes it that way.

Personally, I'd like to say I prefer friends to money. At least I used to, until I discovered my friends were mainly interested in my money, and pretty soon I had neither.

So right now I would rather be a rich jerk than have friends. In fact it's quite likely that by being such a person, one will immediately attract hundreds if not thousands of new friends.

Anyway, back to exposing this rich jerk guy.

He has the most uppity couldn't-care-less way of writing that I have ever seen. He calls people morons and idiots, and he says you only need half a brain to do things his way. I wonder what that means? What does he do with the other half?

Well, it's pretty clear from the research that I have done (and it has been very extensive) that he actually uses the other half to employ a team of attorneys to handle any sticky situations he gets himself into - and since he does things that he admits are a little icky, he probably needs them.

Did I tell you he has a weird attitude about people? For instance, he won't JV with anyone. He won't do anything that other millionaires do all the time - like give money to the needy and that sort of thing. And he won't even bother to reply to you if you haven't read his FAQ page. That's one of the rudest things I have ever seen on a web site. But he goes way beyond that when it comes to bad manners - and he puts it all down to the fact that he just can, because he's rich and he doesn't care what you think because he still sleeps well at night.

On top of that, he thinks the world is made up of losers, losers, and more losers - except for him and his rich jerk fellows - and he shows absolutely no sign whatsoever of using his so-called millions for any charitable purpose at all.

The thing about the rich jerk I am referring to is that he doesn't give a (doo-doo) about anyone else. Or so he says. He calls some of the Internet's genius marketers really bad names, and he says the rest of us are utterly stupid for shelling out money for their courses, because they are only recycling the same old stuff that you could get elsewhere for nothing.

Where?

He doesn't say.

And then he has the cojones to sideswipe you with a 75 per cent-off deal for HIS stuff - (which he says will tell you "exactly" how he made his millions, and you can learn it all from his e-book for under $50) and then he sticks it to you even worse by saying the offer is only good if you buy it 'right now.' And he says something like 'you're a moron if you don't because you'll get hung out to dry and turn into a destitute loser loser loser' while he just carries on driving his Ferrari, sailing his yacht, living in a posh mansion and getting richer every minute.

He even goes so far as to claim that his is one of the best ways to make money and become a 12 month millionaire. But he says he hates scams.

So do I. Which is why I had to really wonder why I could not reveal this rich jerk's name. I mean it's not the same as outing Valerie Plame and then lying to a grand jury is it?

Still, this guy does have a team of 'lawyers' - or that's what he calls them. And they're all bigger than me. So I decided to tread lightly, but at the same time see if I could publicly put this rich jerk where he belongs - at the bottom of everyone's feeding trough.

Frankly, I'm afraid of people like that. I'm afraid they got to be in the rich jerk club because they just don't give a damn about other people. Yeah, maybe his is a true life story of rags to riches, but on the other hand maybe he is just one of those people who love money so much that it falls into their laps while the rest of us are trying to do the right thing.

That's why I think people like him should be exposed - or totally ignored. I mean, just because they have heaps of money and only work a few hours a week, does that really make them better than you and me? Does that really mean I can learn anything from him?

I don't think so.

Which is why I will not call you a stupid moron (like he would). Instead, I will leave it to you to decide whether my research has exposed this rich jerk for what he is.

Therefore, although he doesn't really deserve it (but you do) I recommend you use the following link to his web site.

There you can see him posing like a rich jerk telling everyone he's better than you because he just bought two cars and a yacht and see for yourself what I'm talking about.

http://Howtobooks.richjerk.hop.clickbank.net

About the author: Michael Knight is a retired investigative reporter and now Editor of EZTALK - the world's first 'talking' electronic newsletter. He is also CEO of www.cuddlysoftware.com - an exclusive outlet for e-book and other software. He writes an occasional satyrical column (or so he thinks).

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Major Problems Call for Major Changes in Online Dating Industry.

Miami, FL (PRWEB) November 19, 2004 -- Just a few weeks ago, a woman met a man from a dating site. The man she met, raped her. Naturally, this isn't the first time someone was harmed, due to a chance meeting on a dating site, and rape isn't the only thing someone has to worry about. There are many problems associated with the dating industry. Obviously, we can't forget about the child molesters, who tend to run rampant on them. How about the scammers, who take people for their money, on a daily basis? Is there a way to stop this from occurring? Getogethersafe.com (GTS) thinks there is!

The dating industry is growing at a rapid pace. Various companies are constantly introducing new concepts, in order to enhance the online dating experience. However, GTS believes their competition simply isn't doing enough, to protect the clients from harm. The lack of safety, is a primary concern for all subscribers, who join these sites. "It's not like the problems are going to go away, by themselves", said Rana Adamchick, CEO of Getogethersafe.com. "We may not be able to stop them, completely, but, we can certainly minimize the risk, by taking action". If we do nothing, the problems will just get worse, and it could potentially place those who join the sites, in "serious danger".

Identifying the Problems

"Since the industry is growing quickly, the problems have to be dealt with", said Michael Butler, VP of GTS. "So, we decided to do a tremendous amount of research, before opening our site". GTS staff, personally joined many of their competitors' sites, in order to keep an eye on the situation. During this research, they found, it's not just the safety issues, clients had to deal with. In fact, they were able to see exactly what was happening, from a consumer's point of view.

Besides safety issues, they also found quirky software on the majority of the sites; search capabilities weren't exact (if, and when, they worked at all); email problems ran rampant amongst many of the sites; confidentiality issues were rarely taken into account; the majority of chat programs had multiple problems (as pointed out by many of the participants), and naturally, the list goes on and on.

Time for Change

Hence, GTS ( http://www.getogethersafe.com) knew exactly what they had to do. They took each problem, and broke it down, step by step. The first order of business - setup the necessary safeguards, in order to stop many of the scams from occurring. Of course, GTS had to be able to eliminate the problem, prior to the crime taking place. That was the tricky part. GTS’s programmer, Maureen Larsen, solved this problem, using what she calls, “keyword triggers”.

Is it working? "Yes, it definitely is", said Ms. Adamchick. "GTS has already caught 5 scammers, since our inception". "The information was sent to the proper authorities, and the scammers' accounts suspended." "In addition, clients were informed not to send out any money to anyone." "For a change, it was the scammers who were burned, not the clients".

"Mind you, this happened within the first 24 hours of the individuals joining the site," said, Mike Butler, VP of GTS. Considering GTS has only been open 2 weeks, can you imagine how many scammers are accessing other dating sites, on a daily basis?

Client Confidentiality Solved

Client confidentiality was also a concern for the GTS staff. Obviously, other sites allow you to purchase products and services. However, it's normally necessary for the clients to use the recipient's real name and address, to have the item shipped to them. This transaction could potentially place the recipient in danger, if the person sending the item, is less than desirable.

During the construction of their site, Getogethersafe.com altered their online store software, to avoid the confidentiality problem. Instead of using a client's real name and address, GTS subscribers can send their "prospective other" flower bouquets or gifts, simply by using the recipients' id number or username. This allows the site to keep their member's information safer, from those that might use it for illegal purposes.

Safe Meetings

GTS also anticipated their client base to grow at a phenomenal rate. Once the site obtained enough clients, they knew they had to have the capability to offer a venue, for their members to meet each other. They realized, this venue had to be in a safe location for both parties, and it also had to be cost effective, not to mention enjoyable.

So, GTS decided to join with Sodexho Catering Partners, who agreed to provide banquets all over the U.S., for minimal amounts. Sodexho has catering partners within a 50-mile radius of every city, which will make it easy for all their clients to meet, safely.

High flight costs to the events were also taken into account. Through one of the major airlines, GTS was able to obtain less expensive flights for their subscribers, for each event. However, providing a safe meeting place, good music, dancing, good food, companionship and reasonable prices was just the beginning.

Criminal Background Checks

GTS also realized their clients would be safer, if they were able to check a prospective partner's background, before dating them. Naturally, GTS felt it was very important not to invade anyone's privacy, during this process. While the company, does not conduct the actual background checks, they permit the individual members to do so, if, they so desire. "After all, the members will be associating with each other, not us", said Mike Butler, VP of GTS.

The charges for this type of service can normally range all the way up to $99.95, depending on the type of search. However, GTS was able to obtain the lowest prices possible, through http://www.criminalsearch.com. Mike Butler said, "If the criminal search costs are kept minimal, it will allow everyone to do searches of potential mates and friends, and may even encourage the clients to check on each other, regularly." Some of the background checks and their rates are listed on the site, as follows:

National Criminal Records and Sex Offender Search Combo- $8.50 per search;
Federal Criminal Records - $8.00 per search;
National Sex Offender Search - $4.00 per search;
National Criminal, Sex Offender and Federal Criminal Combo - $15.00 per search.

Virtual Dating?

Additionally, Getogethersafe.com is in the process of developing a "Virtual Dating" arena, which will allow clients the ability to have their first date, online. During these 'virtual dates,' GTS clients will be able to download legally streamed videos. They'll also be able to use their own IM (instant messenger), so they can communicate with each other. This will allow the clients to know how a potential partner might act on a real date. As well, subscribers will be able to listen to new music, provided by new artists, and they'll even be able to vote for their favorites. In addition, free and shareware software will be provided for download, on the site.

The GTS website also links to a complete restaurant guide, which allows clients to search for restaurants, by town and state. Services and products are being added to the site daily, and each should enhance the lives of their subscribers, even after they meet - which means the clients will be more inclined to return to the site, continually.

Named Scammers and Additional Capabilities

To solve some of the other problems, GTS added search capabilities to the email area, so clients could search through their own messages for that long lost phone number, or any other word they might wish to locate in someone's email. Animated Smilies are available in the chat client. Getogethersafe.com is also working on making auditory smilies available for the email area. GTS clients can even check to see if the recipient read their messages and when, or if, that message was deleted.

The chat program was another problem area, until their programmer came up with another great idea. Their chat program actually allows you to make your own private rooms. No one can make contact without an invitation from you - instant privacy.

A forum was also added, to allow clients to warn each other of certain questionable individuals. Even safety areas were linked to the site. These safety areas allow clients to research how and what to look for and naturally, what to avoid, when attempting to find a potential mate, online. GTS also linked to several other sites that actually list names and emails, of those who have already scammed others.

Getogethersafe.com plans to become the top-dating site on the Internet and they're going out of their way to achieve this. They're aware the dating industry is growing at a very fast pace, and the potential for harm is increasing, daily. They're getting ready to take their place, in the online dating industry, as the most innovative dating site on the Internet and they're taking their clients' safety very seriously, indeed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Are you being RIPPED OFF by Corporate Cyberpaths?



Has your favorite dating site gotten complaints? are they a RIP OFF? Click any of the links below and find out!!

ADULT SITES #1
ADULT SITES #2
DATING SERVICES

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Woman and girl killed over alleged internet affair

(September 2003) -- A man bashed his wife and his 14-year-old stepdaughter to death with an iron bar in an attack triggered by an alleged internet affair, a Darwin court heard yesterday.

John Allen Angeles, 68, allegedly went to the apartment of his 35-year-old estranged wife Edna Angeles in the Darwin suburb of Nightcliff on March 1 this year, and later beat her over the head with an iron bar.

He then went to the room of her daughter, Zsa Zsa Vergara, and "viciously" beat her with the bar while she was sleeping, the Supreme Court heard.

Angeles had kicked his wife and her daughter out of his house on Christmas Eve last year because he believed she was having an affair with a man she had met over the internet, the court heard.

Prosecutor Therese Austin said Angeles later told police this alleged affair was "the trigger for committing this offence".

"He then cleaned the flat up because he didn't like things being messy," Ms Austin said.

In applying for bail, defence lawyer Louise Bennett said Angeles had been in custody since his arrest in March, and given his "ripe age", would likely spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.

"It's quite clear the prospects of release would be quite slim," she said. "There are things that he would like to tend to."

She said Angeles had never been in a court before this alleged offence, had strong support from his close-knit family and was willing to abide by the strictest of bail conditions, such as reporting to police twice a day, if granted bail.

But Justice Brian Martin denied the bail application, and Angeles was remanded in custody awaiting his trial, which was expected to be in the Northern Territory Supreme Court in February 2004.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Looking for love in all the wrong places

Super-selective online dating sites kick you out of the mating game before you get a chance to play

By JASON COCHRAN

Some dating sites have their own velvet ropes.

Greg Hodge's site, BeautifulPeople.net, judges on looks.

Used to be as long as you had a computer and could type "Match.com," you could mend your lonely heart. Today, on some of the most-used sites, you'll be lucky to get past the home page's virtual velvet ropes.

The newest breed of matchmaking dot-coms weeds out the losers before you can even see them.

The personals have gotten, well, personal.

Take eHarmony, the country's third-most-popular dating site. Although it claims it has masterminded 10,000 weddings, it actually rejects between 16% and 20% of everyone who fills out its initial "personality profile" questionnaire. After taking more than an hour to plod through 436 questions (Are you "quarrelsome"? "Gregarious"?), nearly one in five people receives an E-mailed form letter:

"Unfortunately, we are not able to make our profiles work for you. Our matching model could not accurately predict with whom you would be best matched."

Translation: "You're too weird to be lovable."

Exactly what sort of responses to eHarmony's screening quiz will make Cupid put away his quiver and bow?

Greg Forgatch, eHarmony's CEO, wouldn't tell. He did say, through a statement, "Unless we have a high degree of confidence that our Compatibility Matching System can help a person establish a strong, satisfying and long-lasting relationship, we won't attempt to match them."

And if Lady Love hasn't been on your side in the past, don't expect Lady Luck to undo the damage: If you've been married more than twice, you won't make the cut on eHarmony, either. EHarmony also rejects gay users. Its creator, Neil Clark Warren, a former colleague of Christian conservative James Dobson, has explained the omission by saying that since gay marriage isn't legal in most states, "we don't really want to participate in something that's illegal."

Faith in the system
Some experts claim the Web site appears to be deliberately screening out those with a low interest in spiritual subjects. "Basically, it doesn't allow customers to sign up who fall outside the [spiritual] parameters," says Dave Evans, who writes the Online Dating Insider column on Corante.com, a media blog. "They don't really care. They have 300,000 people paying $50 a month."

The concept of niche dating sites isn't new - see JDate.com, for Jewish singles, and CowboyDate.com, for wranglers. But plenty of other popular sites are also raising the singles bar.

On BeautifulPeople.net, beauty is screen deep. The three-year-old Danish site was launched in America on July 27 with a tantalizing gimmick: Members vote applicants onto the membership roster based on his or her picture and profile.

Greg Hodge, its managing director, says that the American version of the site has received some 45,000 applications so far, many from young, shirtless men, but only accepts one out of eight. Denmark's members have the toughest standards, with only one out of every 15 admitted. Still, the site dubs itself the most "coveted network in the U.S."

Only the disarmingly gorgeous - and very confident - need apply, since comers are turned away with high-school cafeteria bitchiness. To reject an applicant's photo, members decide between "Hmm, not really" or "No! Not at all."

"It's become a kind of sociological experiment," says Hodge. "There's never been a mark of what's beautiful and what isn't. But if you put a profile up on BeautifulPeople, you're being told what society thinks is beautiful or not."

A gay-and-lesbian version of the site is slated to go online this fall in the United Kingdom, with a launch stateside for sometime next year.

GorgeousNetworks.com, which also relies on members' criticism to cull the homely chaff from the membership-worthy wheat, was started in London back in 2000. Although it only axes about 20% of applicants, a membership costs about $350, which keeps out the hoi polloi.

At GreatBoyfriends.com (and its spinoff branch, GreatGirlfriends.com), single people are nominated to the fold by their exes. Satisfied former lovers post glowing profiles, plus a reason they broke up, in hopes of catching a quality mate for the one that got away. "No jerks ... will slip through the cracks," the webmasters promise.

Still, Web weeding isn't limited to romantic sites. Friendster.com, MySpace.com and Linkedin.com, on which a user's exposure to new buddies is dictated by the number of members they already know, have popularized social networking sites.

Where the elite meet
No site takes exclusivity as seriously as ASmallWorld.net, a networking club that elevates the Friendster concept to its haughty extreme. Patronized by an elite club of international jet-setters, the invitation-only cyberclique is notorious for punishing members for minor infractions by banishing them without explanation to its not-so-exclusive sister site, ABigWorld.net.

Some relationship experts doubt the sites work. "Real compatibility isn't based on 500 questions that provide all these different statistics," says upper West Side couples therapist Carol Kramer.

"We're usually drawn to someone with an opposite way of functioning from what our own strengths are. It's based on something that you're not even conscious of."

"There's no personality test on JDate, and it makes $7 million a quarter," points out Evans. "Still, people want that feeling of community. They want to know, 'There are 750 six-foot transvestites within 10 miles of me.'"

Sunday, November 06, 2005

THE DO'S & DON'TS OF FINDING AND MEETING A FOREIGN WOMAN - A HOW-TO-GUIDE

THANKS TO WILDXANGEL - a MUST VISIT SITE!!

So you've tried meeting and dating American women. You've used some of the sites that charge you by the month to send letters off to women who are listed on the site. Or you've placed your own personal ad and sat there and waited for replies. Now, you think, it's time to try and meet foreign women. The watchwords here are "look out"! You are entering a minefield. If you aren't careful, you will hear the giant sucking sound of your wallet being emptied in your search for your perfect foreign woman. Fortunately there are right and wrong ways of going about your quest.

The first thing to understand is that there are basically four ways to go about meeting a woman who lives in another country over the net. They are very different from each other, but they all can work. You will have to decide which is best for you, or a combination thereof. The trick is, that once made, you then proceed to do it in the best, most cost effective method, avoiding the scams and other pitfalls along the way. The language barrier is but one of the hurdles you must deal with--there are many more to consider in order to do an effective job of locating your possible future mate.

THE PEN PAL APPROACH
The first and most common method available to you is the pen pal approach--where basically you buy addresses and converse by mail prior to traveling over to meet your new lady or ladies. This method requires a lot of time writing letters, waiting for answers, responding back and forth, etc.. It does allow you to "get to know" some ladies first prior to meeting them.

Here is the main problem. You will see literally hundreds of sites that show photos of foreign women. They will sell you their addresses for around an average of $10 an address, less if you purchase bulk quantities. This can get very expensive fast. But the trick is to purchase them from the right companies. Because if you don't, you are liable to be getting old, out-of-date addresses--the lady might have moved, gotten married, removed herself from the marketplace or gone to the moon! In direct mail, we are taught that to target the right prospects, make sure the names and addresses are less than 90 days old. In the romance endeavor, you are basically a direct mailer. But the problem is that it is currently very hard to find lists that are recent. And besides not being recent, I cannot count the times that I've found that women should have been removed from the list, yet are not--they are left on for others to continue purchasing.

And remember, you are playing a numbers game here. It is recommended that you send out lots of letters. You can expect as much as a 30% response, but usually much less. Your correspondence can begin culling the list from there. What you are looking for is someone compatible. Letter writing can be a good way of doing this---it even allows you to be brutally honest when need be. For instance, you may prefer women with a good education, with kids or without kids, attractive, certain religion, speaks English, etc.. But what if your requirements are even more--such as not ever wanting kids. Oh and here's a good one: You may want to make it clear that you aren't going to be happy with "moving her whole family" over here--in other words, you are not going to sponsor her whole family someday in getting over here. No package deal, just her and her alone. (However, I must mention that being around a Latin family is one of the best experiences you can have--you just may want to have them up here, or you may want to move down there). Or you might want to sound out her thoughts on other issues, such as her attitudes toward frugality--American movies tend to give an impression that all Americans are rich and that our streets are paved with gold--you probably don't want the type that are going to use your credit card like play money! (unless you are like Nathan E.B. Thomas, Jr. - a predator - who will just cast his net for every unsuspecting foreign woman he can - Fighter)

It is important to get these issues understood relatively early on, and letters can do this very well. (I would save the meatier issues and questions for later letters, not the first one). By this process, you will weed out the ones you are not going to be compatible with. Also, letter writing does indeed do a better job of weeding out the non-English speakers. And the ones who can speak English are generally the better educated women, and the ones that will be better able to assimilate the transition to moving and living here. You may want to exchange a few letters before calling them too.

Here's a few more problems though. Remember, you are not the only one writing to these women. Often times, these address sellers sell their names to other companies. Or they themselves have purchases the names. Also, many women often sign up on more than one list in the first place. Combining these two factors, there is no telling how many times the name has been offered and sold, much less how old the names are. You really don't know how many people are sending letters to your choices. Especially to the "prettier" ones. Think about it. If it was you who was getting tons of letters, how many would you answer? Remember, these ladies have busy schedules, with work, family and perhaps school. And since very few men actually end up going to visit them, they don't get too excited about writing letters in the first place. And mailing letters costs a lot of money for most of these women. Here's another hint though. If you can ascertain which addresses are the newer ones, they will probably be the better prospects. But again, it all starts with the right list from the right company. Another problem is that your letters may go out to the wrong people simply because not enough was revealed to you in the beginning. Head shots, instead of full body shots, old photos, etc.. You all know that a good photographer can make Whistler's Mother into a raving beauty, although sometimes the opposite is true, in that a photo can hide true on-site beauty. The best portrayal is when the site uses two pictures, one a head shot, one a body shot, and both taken more candid, i.e., not by a professional. Sometimes they leave off the language abilities, number of children, exaggerate the occupation or don't show the actual city where they live. And again, very rarely do they "date" the address. And because of this cross-selling I just mentioned, this date wouldn't mean much anyway. Also, remember this--if you are from a small city, think twice about contacting ladies from big cities--they might have trouble adjusting to your small town way of life. But here's yet another hint. Writing to ladies from small out-of-the-way cities will generally yield better results. Fewer men write to them and fewer yet actually go there. And hey, if you're a studly stud and/or rich as a king, human nature being what it is, you no doubt have better-than-average chances!

Yet geography is still a potential problem. If you write to women all over the world, or even all over a particular area, is it reasonable to assume that you can get to all these places? Since only 5% of the men ever go to even one place, I think the answer to that is no. You probably don't have the time nor the money to eventually visit but about one locality, especially if you end up taking more than one trip to that area to meet your "acquaintances". So the answer is probably to indeed target one area and work that area. Then when you go there, perhaps you can meet several women at once, especially since you never know whether you will get along with any one woman you have been writing to. Remember, it is a numbers game to start off with over here, but it is still a numbers game once you get there in my opinion. You will still have to put up with being alone in a foreign country, probably needing an interpreter at times, although I recommend you converse with women who have some knowledge of English. Better yet, take some language classes! And some of these countries are none too safe. And what if you get hooked up with one of the ladies--she just might make it hard for you to hang out with the rest.

Be aware that there are also some free sites on the web that provide addresses and sometimes an Email address of foreign women. But even though free to you, the woman on the other end is paying. And because these sites are free to you, they tend to get a lot more men writing to them, increasing the competition. If you do start a correspondence with a lady from a free site, it is considered proper to offer to pay the expenses she incurs in writing to you and getting your letters.

By the way, some of the domestic, pay-by-the-month sites are getting more and more foreign women on them and they appear to have Email addresses. Sounds great, but the problem is that they don't usually have their own Email. The women usually have to use Email and translation services in their own country, which you are often asked to pay for. In fact, many of these ads are just "fronts" for this other service, usually located overseas--as soon as you send an Email, you will get back a pitch for their services, directing you to their web site. Or they could come back and say your lady of choice is "not available" and then proceed to sell you on their own pen pal address services. So what sounds like a great deal just isn't in the long run.

So even though there are pros and cons in using the pen pal approach, it can and does work. As I said earlier, the most important thing in direct mail is the list. The same holds true here. There is a book written by Gary Clark that points out which companies sell the best lists individually and in bulk. It covers this and lots of other great tips on meeting the foreign woman of your dreams. I highly recommend it. You can get it direct from the author at Your Bride Is In The Mail.

MAKE YOUR OWN LIST
With this method, instead of buying a list of names as above, you create your own list prior to your trip. You place ads in newspapers or brochures in the foreign country and then receive responses from ladies that are interested in you. Or you send your bio and picture to several introduction agencies (see below), where it will be posted in their books or on their walls. This method is kind of a flip version of the method just described above. You are, in essence, reaching out and putting together a list of women that have shown specific interest in you first. You will not face most of the problems above, including having tons of men writing to the same one you are writing to--you will, of course, be in competition with the other men in the brochure, etc., as to who they might decide to write to. If you get letters, you can either choose to write back to the ones you want to, or to just set up visits when you get down there. The preferable way is to have some initial correspondence first however. We also recommend that out of courtesy that you also write a short letter back to the ones you are not interested in, politely turning them down. And unless you specify English, you will get back a lot of letters in the foreign language. But remember, many women generally prefer not to initiate the first contact, preferring instead to wait for your correspondence using the pen pal method--or perhaps preferring to just join the agencies in the next section and meet men after they come down to their country.

THE FULL SERVICE INTRODUCTION AGENCIES
Now, what is the third method you can take? It is called the full service introduction agency and it is the method I recommend the highest. This method is much different and much more effective than writing to an existing list or creating your own list. There are full service introduction agencies, many on the web, that operate a completely different way than the pen pal agencies. But you have to be careful here too. Let me explain. But first I must admit that the following is based on my knowledge of the South American market only. I have no knowledge of full service agencies in Russia or Asia. They probably exist, but you're on your own in finding them.

What is a full service introduction agency? This is an agency that exists in the foreign country itself. It sometimes has a U.S. office, but it operates primarily out of the foreign city. It is basically a walk-in agency, much like some of the full service agencies in your town. You pay to view profiles of women in that city and to have them set you up with appointments to meet as many of them as you wish. The big difference is that you have to go to that foreign city to use these services. It's very much like using a matchmaking service in your own home town, except that it is in a foreign country. Basically it becomes your vacation, and it is a fun one. Agency fees run all over the map, but this avenue is a very productive one to take. And they usually have a place for you to stay very close to the agency or even at the agency itself. And interpreters as well. Many have parties where the ratio to women to men is 10 to 1. You are meeting the ladies on their turf, and you will meet lots of them in a very short span of time. Being in a strange country with few language skills is much aided by going the full service route. You are around a comfortable environment, meeting not only the ones you see in the files, but also the ones who drop by spontaneously. You are much less likely to be "corralled" by any one lady--in fact, they know you are down there to meet lots of them. But watch out for the ones that just want to "date" foreigners just to get a night on the town.

How do you find these full service agencies? Two ways that I know of. First, the site usually only profiles a few of their women. They mostly sell you on their services. The second is to find books written by people who have been there. The one I recommend for Columbia is "The 2 Gringos Guide to Meeting Columbian Women". Go to Gringos Guide to Colombian Women. It explains all of the above and much much more.

THE GROUP TOUR METHOD
This method is where you go travel to your foreign destination with a group, all staying together and attending pre-arranged parties, meeting ladies in a hotel reception setting. You get to see a lot of women at once (maybe a 10 to 1 ratio) and approach the ones you are interested in. It's faster and cheaper than one-on-one meetings from an agency list. And the parties are usually better and bigger than the agency parties. You will tend to get a little dazed due to the ratios and you may be monopolized by women you are not interested in, and with no agency help you have to get their phone numbers yourself.

BUNDLING OR PACKAGING
The terms bundling or packaging describe ways to purchase combinations of the above four methods. You may prefer one, two, three or all four of the above methods. You will all have to do at least one of them--I know of no way around this. But it is your choice whether to do more. The problem is that sometimes you are not offered them individually, but in a combined package only.

TYPES OF AGENCIES
Although there are four methods, these are offered by basically two types of agencies. The first is the pen pal agency (usually a re-seller itself), but they often offer the services of a full-service introduction agency through a re-seller arrangement. The second is the full-service introduction agency, which often will sell you their list of members' names in a package deal or separate. Both of these types also usually offer a method of creating your own list. If all this sounds complicated, it's because it is.

Almost every industry works this way though. However, what seems to happen in this industry is that because of re-selling and re-sellers, names and addresses can be dated and over-exposed. You just never know how old the list is or how many sites have the same women on them. Can you find the originators and avoid the re-sellers? This is very tough to do, especially since even the originators are sometimes re-sellers for parts of their service. Add to this the fact that many of these agencies create mirror sites and affiliates, and you can see the crazy situation that exists in this industry.

LET THE BUYER BEWARE
I've added this section to warn you of some of the things you should watch out for, no matter which method you use. I've mentioned some above, but here's a few more, especially when you get into the meatier issues of reality. Horror stories abound. Basically you are trying to avoid the visa and green card seekers. Without getting into the stories, I'll move right to some hints. Generally it is better if you go for women older than 25--over 30 is even better. They are more ready to settle down. You will of course want to find out if she has kids. Can you tell if she wants marriage, or just what are her intentions? Do not, under any circumstances, give her money. Small gifts are ok. Meet the parents. Does she have relatives in the U.S.? This could mean trouble. And as I said above, is she going to want to move her whole family to the U.S.? I guess the best advice is to go slow. If something doesn't feel right, it's probably not. Just move on.

IN SUMMARY
I hope I have explained this field adequately for you. I feel this industry is in need of a huge revamping. But under the current structure, the best I can do is leave you with my own recommendation. I believe there is no substitute for a trip down to your selected country. And I believe it would be better, more fun and a lot less hassle and discomfort if you aligned yourself with a full service introduction agency in the foreign city of choice. Also, I believe you can accomplish more in 10 days down there than in writing letters for a year! Purchase either directly or through a good re-seller, if you can find one. Then you decide whether you would like to contact or at least have a list of women from that city prior to going down there. If so, I would first purchase, in bulk, the list of ladies that belong to that agency, writing to the newer ones first if marked as such. I guarantee--this list will be a lot "cleaner" than any other you could buy. And if you can find an originating full service introduction agency that doesn't re-sell their names, so much the better. You may also purchase other names from the better pen pal sites. Then I would decide if I also wanted to create my own list of names. Finally, I would look at group tour options. And as I said above, some or all of these services can be offered on a packaged or bundled basis.

Some guys join more then one full service introduction service, even in the same city. And many of these agencies have affiliations with other agencies in nearby cities, especially if you stay at the agency's facilities in those other cities.

Using this method, you can meet a lot of women easily in a single trip. And think of it from her viewpoint. You have actually taken the time to come all the way there--this shows real commitment on your part. But be careful--don't let the raw attractiveness of these ladies overcome some of the more practical aspects and requirements of a L/T relationship. But even then you may want to write to some ladies first, either from your the agency's list or from a list you create yourself.

Whichever method you choose, choose it wisely and follow the rules above, including the dangers I pointed out. Read these books, get your passport, pack your bags and go on a vacation you will never forget.

These are many other topics to consider when searching for a foreign bride, not the least of which is letter writing advice, fiance visas, safety considerations, what to bring if you go down there, which country and city to target, bringing her home, even which agency or agencies should I use, travel details, culture shock, learning the language, etc.. By reading the above books and others, you can acquaint yourself with these and other important issues.

Again Don't assume all these ladies are just dying to get out of their country. Latin families are strong and many of these women are well-established. To many of these women, the U.S. is a place to visit, not to live. It may very well be YOU who will be asked to move down there! Business people, scientists and professionals worldwide seem to want to come to America, but for the average citizen of a country like Colombia, they are quite content to stay in their own country and culture, with their own language and next to their own family.

But let's just say it--nothing wrong with saying it--foreign women look at American men for stability and ability to provide. It isn't just a cultural thing but a product of our economic system. Our economy makes it possible for a large percentage of men to support a family. That makes us really attractive to women where male unemployment is chronically high. If marrying an American man means they must move to America, most will do it. Good luck! Buena Suerte!

by William Gregg
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FOREIGN AFFAIRS A LA THE INTERNET, A READER OFFERS HIS UNIQUE INSIGHTS

I guess you could sum it all up with the thought that many people have baggage. The net gives them a place to hide it but sooner or later it surfaces. Hope I'm not too far into that category. Anyway just wanted to add my two cents worth about foriegn affairs. Under no circumstances am I saying that cross border relationships won't/don't work. On the contrary I think mixed relationships can be very fulfilling because of the different backgrounds, but they will always be harder work. The larger the culture difference the harder the work.

As a younger bloke I went looking for a bride in the Philippines. I'm upfront enough to say that I was driven by insecurities more than I was driven by wanting the particular attributes that asians bring e.g. closeness of family, & I was unprepared for the baggage that growing up in poor country (relative to a developed country) causes. Time & tide work their way and I'm divorced and wiser for the experience.

For men thinking of taking on a foriegn bride, you need to be sure what your own drives are. If you can't relate to women in your own country, what makes you think you'll do better with a foriegner??? Remember the first law of travel "When you travel you always take yourself with you!" The airline may lose your baggage but it'll catch up with you. You still have to relate to a woman. You will sooner or later realise that you've made the job harder because of cultural differences.

I spent about a year all up living in the Philippines so had a good chance to check out the prospective grooms that poor endlessly into the country. We were basically a bunch of losers, sad but true, often broken of heart & spirit. But all long on hope. The women. mmm. Some were looking for good men most were just looking to get out of the country.

For those interested in a foriegn bride you'd best find out which of these two groups your prospective falls into. Ask what she thinks life will be like abroad. If she says she doesn't know or has no idea then proceed. if she says that it'll be really fantastic, give her a wide berth. Why ? well mostly because you will find it hard to live up to her expectations. You don't need the extra hassle that it will create. Remember her view of you may be due to you fronting up with large amounts of money, due to the favourable exchange rate rather than the fact that you own a mint. If she thinks your loaded it's going to be a shock when she finds out you live in a caravan.

Try to find out if she has any hobbies or interests you relate to. That may sound like the same as courting women in your own country, and it is! For the same reasons, you'll need to talk and spend time together, you'll need something to talk about and do together!!!

Is she the oldest or youngest in the family? If she is the oldest, expect her to be sending money home to support the younger ones through school. Now do you think it might be a good idea to check out how employable she'll be in your country? If she has no skills then money sent home will be from YOUR pocket. You may have a problem with this. Better talk about. Early.

Keep in mind that a foriegn bride will relate to you in the same way she culturally relates to men in her own country. Check out the locals on this score. If the men have reputations for playing around she probably will be insecure and jealous, not her fault, she grew up with it.

Some third world countries are very conservative. In some places in the Phillipines it was considered as good as being engaged if you bedded a girl. In the provinces just visiting the parents and meeting the father could be considered similarly. Remember, you are an ambassador for your country, the locals won't understand if you stuff up due to lack of savvy about local customs. Try to leave a good impression. I don't really have an axe to grind here. I avoided many of the pitfalls but my ex and I had too much baggage. For those who want to pursue this avenue I wish you well, please go forward as well prepared as you can.

At the time I was looking to meet a Philippino wife (13yrs ago)I didn't consider my self a loser, but in retrospect I was certianly in that group. Don't believe that just having money makes someone a winner, You can be rich and be just as stuffed up as someone who is broke.

Keep in mind that women from third world countries are likely to be very emotionally tough, they are not weak, they need to be tough just to survive in those conditions. It is very likely that they will be stronger than you.

When all is said and done the failure rate of Philippino/Australian marriages was about 85% in 1986. It may have improved marginally since as the governments on both sides don't like this situation. Don't for one moment think that the situation will be different in your country. Try ringing the local embassy or your immigration dept. Someone there will have the figures.

Keep your eyes open in a foriegn land. I saw rip offs and abuse by both sides that make the worst stories about internet dating, on this site, pale into insignificance by comparison.

Thoughts on the net. Well it's a bit like all the porn sites, so much promise but when you get there is it really what you wanted. The Net has the capability to put you in touch with many people most of whom would not have come into your life otherwise. I don't see that the net itself is to blame for all the disasters we read about. Perhaps these people were disasters looking for a place to happen, the net just makes it faster and easier. Ultimately we must all be responsible for our own actions.

I try to view it as a way for people like myself to meet other like minded people (yes, still long on hope!) The local governemt area I live in has a population of 20,000 max. If you have esoteric interests (like me, spiritual, metaphysics, human counsciousness, telepathy, esp etc.) then your chances of finding a similar soul in such a small population base is very limited. So the net can be a plus.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mayor of Spokane, Washington Caught Setting Up Online Trysts



Mayor West offered perks, internship to expert posing as 18-year-old during Web chats
By Bill Morlin / Staff writer

An 18-year-old Spokane high school senior meets someone who says he's 53 in a gay chat room online.

After talking for several weeks using the online alias "Cobra82nd," the older man suggests the two meet for a dinner date, and the teenager accepts.

The older man arrives in his late-model blue Lexus convertible on a warm June evening, and the two talk face to face for the first time over dinner at a trendy restaurant in north Spokane.

Afterward, the young man picks up the tab. He smiles as he's given the keys to the convertible in the restaurant parking lot.

Minutes later, while driving curvy roads north of the city, he asks the older man, whom he doesn't recognize, what he does for a living.

"He basically asked, 'Can I trust you?'." the young man said in a recent interview.

"I'm like, 'Yeah,'." he continued. "I think this guy's crazy. What now? Then he says like, 'I'm the mayor of Spokane.'

"I was kind of silent for a minute," the young man said, recalling his disbelief, "but then it clicked: his face, TV commercials, stuff like that."

Until that moment last summer, the young man, who asked that his name not be used, said he had no idea he was on a date with Spokane Mayor Jim West.

The evening ended with consensual sex, according to the young man, who has not told his family about his personal life. "I've never wanted to see him again after that."

The young man's story raised questions for the newspaper. If West was online at Gay.com, was it the public's right to know? Would it be the public's business if West was using city computers to chat during his working hours as mayor? What if he was using the Internet to meet people who weren't 18, the legal age of consent? Was he abusing his public office in any other way?

The questions became a critical part of the ongoing investigation into the sex abuse allegations against West.

To verify the 18-year-old's allegations that Cobra82nd was Jim West, the newspaper asked the young man to save any additional online conversations between them.

In November and December, they talked again. This time, the 18-year-old said, the man changed his online screen name from Cobra82nd - a possible reference to the helicopters West flew in while a paratrooper in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division - to "RightBi-Guy."

The paper then hired a forensic computer expert in November to help verify the young man's allegations that West was online. The expert, a former federal agent who asked not to be identified for these stories, has helped track child pornography through the use of online chat technology.

The computer expert registered on Gay.com as "Moto-Brock," a fictitious 18-year-old Ferris High School senior questioning his own sexuality and eager to met older gay or bisexual men. Once in the chat room, which has a policy that all participants be 18, the consultant changed his age to 17 because the newspaper wanted to know whether West was using the Web to meet underage children.

Within two months, Moto-Brock and RightBi-Guy were discussing sex in the Gay.com chat room, and the dialogues were being recorded by the newspaper's consultant.

West, interviewed Wednesday, admitted his online relationships with the 18-year-old and Moto-Brock.

After a long pause in the interview, he said, "They were both adults, and I was in public office when I dated women in this community. So what's your point?"

According to the transcripts of those online conversations, RightBi-Guy was the first person to raise the issue of sex.

He also suggested that he and Moto-Brock switch their conversations from the Gay.com chat room to America Online instant messaging, which is transitory in nature and disappears quickly unless steps are taken to record chats.

Over a period of several months, RightBi-Guy offered Moto-Brock autographed sports memorabilia, prime seats for Seahawks and Mariners games, help getting into college, an internship job in the Spokane mayor's office and the promise of trips to Washington, D.C.

In mid-March, Moto-Brock told RightBi-Guy that he'd turned 18.

On two occasions, RightBi-Guy appeared to believe he was engaging in mutual online masturbation with Moto-Brock, according to transcripts of the explicit exchanges. Asked about simulating masturbation online with a teenager, West said Wednesday, "You have a better memory than I do." He declined an offer to look at the transcripts of the dialogue.

"We never had sex online," West said of his relationship with Moto-Brock. "You've got words on paper."

According to the online conversations, RightBi-Guy asked Moto-Brock to meet him for golf at Indian Canyon at 10 a.m. April 10. So Moto-Brock would know whom to look for, RightBi-Guy e-mailed him his picture.

The picture was of West. He also e-mailed Moto-Brock a link to the mayor's Web page on the Spokane City Hall site.

Three people affiliated with The Spokesman-Review reported seeing West arrive at the course in his blue Lexus at 9:45 a.m. April 10. He was seen looking around the parking lot. As he waited for Moto-Brock, he purchased two buckets of balls and kicked one of them across the driving range.

The two never met in person. Shortly after that failed meeting, the consultant was asked by the newspaper to stop communicating online with RightBi-Guy. But West subsequently sent the consultant two more e-mails, including a final message sent April 28. Sent from the mayor's office, the e-mail has "internship" in its subject line. The e-mail asks Moto-Brock "still interested?"

While the consultant was online over a period of a couple of months, the newspaper attempted to identify other young men listed on West’s Gay.com profiles as his "hot picks" and "buddies."

One of them, a 19-year-old Eastern Washington University student, was identified and located for an interview. He asked not to be identified in this story, but he confirmed that he was one of RightBi-Guy's "hot picks." The EWU student said he and RightBi-Guy chatted online several times, but haven't met.

"He sounds a little too old for me," the student said.

He said he did not know the real identity of RightBi-Guy.

The following are excerpts from online conversations between RightBi-Guy and Moto-Brock from February to April.

Background: In their first online chat Feb. 19, RightBi-Guy says he's home watching Gonzaga beat San Diego in the West Coast Conference basketball tournament.

Within the first 100 words of their conversation, recorded by the newspaper's consultant, RightBi-Guy brings up the topic of sex. He also appears to be trying to impress the young man, claiming he gets sports perks, knows Microsoft founder Bill Gates and baseball star Edgar Martinez and has a job that allows him to "hang out with rich people."

Moto-Brock: "What kind of stuff do you do?"

RightBi-Guy: "For fun or are you talking sex here?"

Moto-Brock: "LOL" (laughing out loud)

RightBi-Guy: "I like to camp, hike, scuba dive, boat."

Moto-Brock: "Oh, man, I always wanted to learn how to scuba. It just looks so cool."

RightBi-Guy: "It is. I used to be an instructor. Learned in the Army. Paratrooper."

Later, after small talk about sports, RightBi-Guy asks if Moto-Brock is interested in girls.

Moto-Brock: "You know I try to. I go out on dates and stuff."

RightBi-Guy: "What did you think of when you shower at school?"

Moto-Brock: "I try like hell not to get hard."

RightBi-Guy: "Okay, then I remember that from my school days. Ha Ha Ha."

Moto-Brock: "Keep the conversation light. Think about homework, stuff like that."

RightBi-Guy: "I see. Hey, I'm enjoying this. Do you get turned on by guys?"

Moto-Brock: "Yes. I know I'm gay or at least very bi-sexual."

RightBi-Guy: "I think I was in the same place when I was your age. I dated because I was expected to."

RightBi-Guy: "I’ve always liked people younger than me. Just felt more comfortable with people either younger or older."

RightBi-Guy: "My name is Jim, by the way."

Moto-Brock: "I'm Brock."

RightBi-Guy ends the conversation by telling Moto-Brock that he prefers chatting through America Online's "instant messaging," where host monitoring is less likely than on a Web site such as Gay.com. He also says he has to go to a "cancer fund-raising dinner" but would rather remain online with Moto-Brock.

Moto-Brock: "Man you have my curiosity up about your job."

RightBi-Guy: "When we meet, I'll tell you."

Background: Their second conversation occurs a week later, on Feb. 26, another Saturday, through AOL's instant messaging, with West using the screen name "JMSElton," apparently derived from his full name, James Elton West. Moto-Brock complains that his parents don't give him enough privacy.

JMSElton: "Kids get into a lot of trouble in today’s world. Parents should be concerned."

The two then talk about various people that JMSElton knows, including Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

Moto-Brock: "God you know so many people. You know it really makes me feel a little better about my future if you have been so successful and are gay."

JMSElton: "Remember, I'm very closeted. No one knows I like guys. Except the few guys I've been with and highly trusted."

JMSElton: "It's just that the openly gay guys are a little over the top for me. I don't really like the in-your-face attitude some guys have. And the massive political agenda either. I say live and let live. Most gay guys turn me off, too."

Later in the conversation, JMSElton asks Moto-Brock about a Ferris teacher accused of having sex with a female student.

JMSElton: "Don't have sex the first time you meet someone. You don't know what they've been doing or what disease they might have. Whatever you do, don't go anal with anyone."

Moto-Brock tells JMSElton that he'll turn 18 on March 10. JMSElton wishes him happy birthday and says he wants to send a present of his choosing.

JMSElton: "What do you want? My autographed basketball from the 2003-04 Zags? My autographed football from the 2002 Seahawks? My autographed football signed by Paul Allen and Dennis Erickson? Or my Edgar Martinez autographed rookie card that I got two weeks ago when he was in town? Or maybe you'd like my autographed Seahawks, signed by No. 1 Warren Moon?"

The conversation changes course.

JMSElton: "I still date women once in a while. Last weekend I went to a charity dinner auction and took a date."

Moto-Brock: "I don't hate being around them (women) or anything. They just don't turn me on that way."

JMSElton: "Understand. But kissing me would do it?"

Moto-Brock: "Umm, sure feels like it."

JMSElton: "Okay, well, I'm off to bed. Be careful out there. We should meet up sometime."

Background: Their third online chat, again using instant messaging, occurs March 8. When JMSElton asks for a picture, Moto-Brock sends a random photo of a young, dark-haired athletic-looking man.

Apparently believing the picture to be that of Moto-Brock, JMSElton says he's handsome, "real stud material."

JMSElton: "I could never be into the gay scene with its politics and all. I've just seen too many guys decide once they come out that it becomes everyone else's problem to deal with. I'm not into femmy guys."

JMSElton: "It's our secret here."

Background: The two chat online again March 8 and then March 9, mostly exchanging small talk. JMSElton says he's going to Washington, D.C., on business and mentions taking a couple of high school interns with him on a business trip there years earlier.

Moto-Brock: "Ohhhhh. You are killing me here. I want an internship! So I can go to DC."

JMSElton tells Moto-Brock he has a friend who might be able to get the teen an internship.

On March 21, Moto-Brock receives an e-mail from Spokane Mayor Jim West. It reads, in part, "A friend of mine has asked if I would consider you for an internship in the mayor's office. He informs me that you are a high school senior at Ferris High School in Spokane. If you are interested please contact Melissa Murphy in my office at 625-6250. She will have you fill out an application which will need your parents' and school official's approval. We look forward to hearing from you."

Moto-Brock e-mails JMSElton the following:

"Holy crap, is this for real!!?!? The mayor of Spokane sending me an e-mail inviting me to apply for an internship? I can't hardly believe it! He is really a friend of yours? That is unreal. Well, I don't know what to say … "thank you" seems like not enough."

JMSElton replies: "Don't thank me until you see how it works out. It should be fun and better to put on your resume than working for me."

Background: In another AOL instant messaging conversation, Moto-Brock asks JMSElton if he's too young for him.

JMSElton: "Careful. Let's take it slow here ok?"

Moto-Brock: LOL

JMSElton: "I don't want to ruin our friendship before we even get started."

JMSElton: "But yes, you interest me alot."

JMSElton: "But I'm not sure how I would handle your father........or your mother..."

JMSElton: "So you saying you are attracted to me?"

Moto-Brock: "Well, yeah, kinda"

When JMSElton and Moto-Brock talk online April 9, they talk about meeting. West electronically sends his photo during the chat, but Moto-Brock acts like he doesn't immediately recognize him. West then sends an Internet link to the mayor's biography page at City Hall.

Moto-Brock: "So what u doing this weekend?"

JMSElton: "Have a dinner in about an hour that I really don't want to go to but said I would."

Moto-Brock: "Lucky u!"

JMSElton: "Tomorrow afternoon I have to be somewhere at 3:30 for about an hour... may golf in the morning tomorrow... or just go to the driving range."

Moto-Brock: "Want some company?"

JMSElton: "Maybe ...you interested?"

Moto-Brock: "Sure."

JMSElton: "We could hit some balls."

The two talk for a while about sports.

JMSElton: "You will be online tonight about 10pm?"

Moto-Brock: "It depends on if u want to get up early to go hit some golf balls."

JMSElton: "Maybe go to golf course about 10 am."

Moto-Brock: "10am would be cool"

JMSElton: "I still worry about meeting you."

Moto-Brock: "Why????????????"

Moto-Brock: "Cause you aren't in shape? I don't care bout that with u"

JMSElton: "Because guys like you don't come along very often and I want it to last. …am I crazy here?"

Moto-Brock: "I don't understand why it wouldn't. …why wouldn't our friendship last if we meet for golf swings???”

JMSElton: "It will ...but it will be different ...hopefully better but different."

Moto-Brock: "Why? Really?"

JMSElton: "We trust each other right?"

Moto-Brock: "Of course."

JMSElton then sends Moto-Brock the photo.

Moto-Brock: "What is that?"

JMSElton: "This is me."

Moto-Brock: "You are not fat ...... why would u say that I wouldn't like u?"

JMSElton: "I didn't say you wouldn't recognize me … just that you might be surprised"

Moto-Brock: "U have a nice face."

JMSElton: "You are so sweet. Thank you."

JMSElton: "OK, let's meet tomorrow at the driving range at Indian Canyon. Can you find that? 10am?"

JMSElton: "I'll be driving a blue Lexus convertible. You'll be in a Ram pickup?"

Moto-Brock: "And u look great, I'm kind of relieved."

JMSElton: "Good... that's not really what I was worried about."

Moto-Brock: "I thought maybe u were nervous for real reasons like u looked really bad or something"

JMSElton then sends Moto-Brock the link to Mayor Jim West's Web page.

JMSElton: "Check this out, but please don't tell anyone at all."

Moto-Brock: "Huh? That's you?"

JMSElton: "Does that change things alot?"

Moto-Brock: "Holy crap."

JMSElton: "Shhhhhh"

Moto-Brock: "That is u? U r screwing with me aren't u?"

JMSElton: "Shhhhhh. No I'm not."

Moto-Brock: "You are who I'm applying with???????????????"

JMSElton: "See this is what I was afraid of. Now you won't apply."

Moto-Brock: "The heck I won't!"

JMSElton: "Well please be careful ok?"

Moto-Brock: "Of course I will. ... I wasn't sure I should because I didn't think I'd get it and I didn't wanna disappoint u."

JMSElton: "Oh you were going to get it. Don't worry about that."

Moto-Brock: "Now some things u said make more sense."

JMSElton: "Maybe so."

Moto-Brock: "Like all the peeps you know. Wow, that is so cool."

JMSElton: "Well it's a part of my life I don't share at all and is somewhat new to me."

JMSElton: "And the last thing I want is some high school kid getting into trouble because of me... I hope this isn't too big of a responsibility for you."

Moto-Brock: "No, I'm cool and it's cool. Now I see why u get the press box for the Cougs!"

JMSElton: "Someday I may run for governor and this would be bad if you know what I mean."

JMSElton then gives Moto-Brock a cell phone number that Mayor Jim West uses.

When he didn't show up for golf, Moto-Brock sent an e-mail saying a relative was sick. West responded that "family always comes first. Always."

After brief e-mail exchanges, Moto-Brock stopped communicating.

On April 28, he received one last e-mail from West, asking about the City Hall internship.

"You still interested?" the mayor asked.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Online Dating: 4 Dating Mistakes to Avoid

Did you catch the dating mistakes made during episode one of ABC’s Hooking Up documentary series? If you caught the episode on July 14th, I’m sure you would have noticed what doesn’t work when it comes to dating…

Mistake #1: Using an old photo

A self-proclaimed “Fabio” look-a-like used a 15-year old picture of himself to entice women to meet him. I guess he figured once they met the “older” version of himself they’d be charmed enough to stay. Not!

Mistake #2: Telling a lie… or two

These come in at least three categories - age, name, and profession. I’m sure there are more but only three occurred in the first episode (that I saw). The musician (from mistake #1) said he was in his 30’s but he was actually in his 40’s. Can’t you just hear the umpire? Steeee-rike 2!

Or the classic line from one of the female daters on the show: “My name isn’t Jennifer, it’s Lisa.” Which was followed by her revealing that she was a doctor - just like her now confounded date.

Mistake #3: Asking yourself the wrong questions

Cynthia, one of the daters, was a bit down after a string of rather unpleasant dates. She asked herself out loud “Why am I single?” It had a feeling of “what’s wrong with me?” to it.

A better question would have been - “How do I need to be to find the man who fits into my ideal relationship?” Or, “What’s the next best step for me in finding my ideal mate?” Questions that focus on the positive of what you can do or be.

Mistake #4: Breaking up by email

This is probably more of an etiquette “violation” than a mistake, breaking up with a date by email. While the fellow said it was a cop-out, it was still tactless.

It’s rather entertaining watching the online dating experiences of others. Learn from their mistakes and save yourself a whole lot of time and trouble.

(info by Sue Bond from http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/07/27/064356.php)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Some of the Do's & Don't of Internet Romance



1. Security first.

Until you know that you know that you know that your partner is not the type to harass you or even stalk you if the worst happens, it is wise to limit the personal information that you supply. Maintain a certain degree of anonymity until you are well prepared to release it. Ways of know how 'psycho' your partner can get include listening carefully to the way they discuss their past relationships. People often repeat their behavioural patterns, so (for example) if a guy keeps dumping on his ex-wife, there is a relatively high chance that he'll turn on you too should anything happen. Also, look out for people who are quite obsessed about their ex-partner and quickly forget that person exists as soon as you come on the scene. A bit of foresight now could save a lot of psychologists bills further down the line.

Checklist:

Send emails through a free email service such as hotmail, yahoo or myownemail.com and don't use any 'real details.

Keep surnames, phone numbers and addresses private until you are sure.

2. Honesty

Without direct honesty up front, your internet romance is in trouble straight off. Don't lie or exaggerate now, only to be found out and looking like a fool. Both people get ripped off when you're not honest. Honesty is the number one requirement for any internet romance. You may be surprised that your partner loves you just how you are.

Current photos definitely need to be exchanged. Try to get that done as soon as possible. For more information on how to do this, click here.

Checklist:

Any secrets? Spill your guts now!

Current photos are best exchanged as soon as possible.

3. Are you the only one?

Let me firstly say that if you are involved in a 'real-life' relationship as well as having an Internet Romance, I have no desire to share my thoughts with you. Infidelity is infidelity and I refuse to support such behaviour.

One of the drawbacks of Internet Relationships is that it is possible to have numerous romances simultaneously without the recipients being any the wiser. Unfortunately, the internet offers the perfect environment for such people.

Checklist:

Ask for his/her home phone number (and ring it!). A user is often reluctant to give our their home phone number.

Some guys/girls are quite happy to offer references from other people to verify their integrity.

Be always on the lookout for emails that are quite generalised in their content. You may not be the only one being 'bulk-mailed'.

Background checks...

Datesmart.com - a quite cheap and effective service that is designed for people in relationships.

You can do it yourself and investigate anyone using Cyber Detective.

(Google or Surf on their name & nickname(s) - read all the pages!! you will be surprised what you may find on page 32 - Fighter)

4. Email Relationships (This section by Carol Fields)

The fact that an e-mailer is just looking at a computer screen, with no voice, animation or even handwriting to connect him/her to a real person, means that they are already in a fantasy-like situation. Their defences and inhibitions drop, they can assume personal characteristics that they would never exhibit in real life. This is not the real world, but many people don't see the difference.

I think women, as opposed to men, are much more affected by the written word. Men have a tendency to be more visual and look at pictures (hence Playboy Magazine, Hustler etc.). So women can much more easily become prey to a man who is just a slick writer. Women need to be very very careful before they loose their hearts over the written words on a screen. Our local psychologist's office says his business is booming with them.

The original article can be viewed HERE

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Match.com Glitches Crosses Dating Profiles

By Frank Ahrens

Internet dating can be scary. You agree to meet complete strangers based on blurry headshots, puffed-up self-descriptions and furtive e-mail exchanges. The guy who said his body type is "about average" shows up with a body type that is "about average" in a crowd of baby hippos. The girl who said she "loves reading" turns out to "love reading" only "Star Wars" novelizations.

Well, something really scary happened last week at Match.com, the popular Web site where lonely hearts post profiles and pictures and get entered into a database searchable by geography, religion, height, pet preference, body art and so forth.

Owing to a glitch, profiles and preferences for many members temporarily were shuffled for several days. Or "criss-crossed," the company told one irritated user, a Tom from Northern Virginia, whose identity we protect because we're stand-up guys. (Match.com does not post users' real names. It's up to individuals to release names to prospective dates. Seems fair to do the same here.)

For several days, Tom's profile page sported his picture with a headline identifying him as a "funny girl." (You -- stop laughing!) Also, Match.com wiped out half of his profile, which he put more than a little effort into writing. Tom said the same thing happened to several of his friends who use Match.com.

Tom said the glitch was remedied only after several calls to the site, which -- like the Ask Jeeves search engine, the Home Shopping Network and several online businesses -- is owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp, headed by Barry Diller, a Washington Post Co. director.

The error came at a bad time for Tom: He had just sent e-mails to a few women he was interested in. "They probably thought I was an idiot if they'd read my [criss-crossed] profile," he said. Tom had to take down his profile and completely rewrite and post it. To salve the wound, Tom said Match.com offered to kick his profile up to the front of the queue.

Thanks. Thanks a bunch.

On Friday, Match.com spokeswoman Kristin Kelly said the "unprecedented" problem affected about 10,000 of its 15 million users and that an explanatory e-mail (that offered seven free days as remuneration) was sent out, though Tom said he didn't get one. (Note to Tom: Call. Get your seven free days.)

We suggest this new headline for Tom's page: "Justifiably Angry Man Seeks Correct Profile."

(why oh why do people still use internet dating? Fighter wants to know!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

For all of us.... the victims...

FIGHTER
by Christina Aguilera

Well I thought I knew you
Thinking that you were true
Guess I, I couldn't trust
Called your bluff
time is up
cause I've had enough

You were there by my side
always down for the ride
but your joyride
just came down in flames
cause your deeds
sold me out in shame

After all of the stealing, your cheating
you probably think
that I hold resentment for you
but...you're wrong

Cause if it wasn't for all that
you tried to do
I wouldn't know
just how capable
I am to pull through

so I wanna say thank you

CHORUS:
Cause it makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
It makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter

Never saw it coming
all of your backstabbing
just so you could
cash in on my good thing
before I realized your game

I heard your going round
playing the victim now
but don't even begin
feeling I'm the one to blame
cause you dug your own grave

After all of the fights and the lies
guess you wanted to harm me
but that won't work any more
no more...it's over

Cause if it wasn't for
all of your torture
I wouldn't know how
to be this way now and
never back down

so I wanna say thank you