UPDATE

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

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Allure of Cyber-Relationships


The Allure of Cyber-Relationships

(edited)
The Internet is becoming a breeding ground for adultery, so say many experts who track the pattern of extramarital affairs. So we will discuss the phenomenon of online affairs.

Peggy Vaughn is the author of 'The Monogamy Myth' and also serves as an expert for America Online on problems caused by infidelity. She predicts that one "role of the Internet in the future will be as a source of affairs." She is writing a second book on the subject of adultery and says she could base half of it just on the letters she receives from people who started an affair online.{1}

An online affair (or cyberaffair) is an intimate or sexually explicit communication between a married person and someone other than their spouse that takes place on the Internet. Usually this communication takes place through an online service such as America Online or CompuServe. Participants usually visit a chat room to begin a group conversation and then often move into a one-to-one mode of communication. Chat room categories range from "single and liking it" to "married and flirting" to "naked on the keyboard."

Women in a chat room are often surprised at what develops in a fairly short period of time. At first the conversation is stimulating, though flirtatious. Quickly, however, women are often confronted with increasingly sexual questions and comments. Even if the comments don’t turn personal, women find themselves quickly sharing intimate information about themselves and their relationships that they would never share with someone in person. Peggy Vaughn says, "Stay-at-home moms in chat rooms are sharing all this personal stuff they are hiding from their partners." She finds that the intensity of women’s online relationships can "quickly escalate into thinking they have found a soulmate."

Online affairs differ from physical world affairs in some ways, but are similar in others. Cyberaffairs are based upon written communication where a person may feel more free to express herself anonymously than in person. Frequently the communication becomes sexually graphic and kinky in ways that probably would not occur if a real person were hearing these comments and could act on them. Participants in an online affair will often tell their life stories and their innermost secrets. They will also create a new persona, become sexually adventurous, and pretend to be different than they really are.

Pretending is a major theme in cyberaffairs. Men claim to be professionals (doctors, lawyers) who work out every day in the gym. And they universally claim that if their wives met their needs, they wouldn’t be sex shopping on the Internet. Women claim to be slim, sexy, and adventurous. The anonymity of the Internet allows them to divulge (or even create) their wildest fantasies. In fact, their frank talk and flirtation pays great dividends in the number of men in a chat room who want to talk to them and get together with them.

Just as the Internet has become a new source of pornography for many, so it seems that it has also become a new source for affairs. Relationships online frequently go over the line leaving pain, heartbreak, and even divorce in their wake. Even though these online affairs don’t involve sex, they can be very intense and threaten a marriage just the same.

Current Statistics on Adultery
In a previous article, I talked about some of the statistics concerning adultery. Before we continue, let me update some of those numbers with a multitude of studies all coming to similar conclusions.

One conclusion is that adultery is becoming more common, and researchers are finding that women are as likely as men to have an affair. A 1983 study found that 29 percent of married people under 25 had had an affair with no statistical difference between the number of men and women who chose to be unfaithful to their spouses early in life.{2} By comparison, only 9 percent of spouses in the 1950s under the age of 25 had been involved in extramarital sex. Another study concluded that by age 40 about 50 to 65 percent of husbands and 45 to 55 percent of wives become involved in an extramarital affair.{3}

Affairs are usually more than a one-time event. A 1987 study surveyed 200 men and women and found that their affairs lasted an average of two years.{4} In fact, affairs go through transitions over time. They may begin as romantic, sexual, or emotional relationships and may become intimate friendships. Affairs that become friendships can last decades or a lifetime.

Online affairs differ from other affairs in that they may not involve a physical component, but the emotional attachment is still there. Online affairs develop because of the dual attraction of attention and anonymity. Someone who has been ignored (or at least perceives that he or she is ignored) or abused by their partner suddenly becomes the center of attention in a chat room or a one-on-one e-mail exchange. A woman finds it exciting, even intoxicating, that all these men want to talk to her. And they are eager to hear what she says and needs.

Anonymity feeds this intoxication because the person on the other end of this cyberaffair is unknown. He or she can be as beautiful and intelligent as your dreams can imagine. The fantasy is fueled by the lack of information and the anonymity. No one in cyberland has bad breath, a bald head, love handles, or a bad temper. The sex is the best you can imagine. Men are warm, sensitive, caring, and communicative. Women are daring, sensual, and erotic.

Is it all too good to be true? Of course it is.
Cyberaffairs are only make-believe. Usually when cyberlovers meet, there is a major letdown. No real person can compete with a dream lover. No marriage can compete with a cyberaffair. But then an online affair can’t really compete with a real relationship that provides true friendship and marital intimacy.

Nevertheless, online affairs are seductive. An Internet addict calls out to a spouse "one more minute" just as an alcoholic justifies "one more drink." Cyberaffairs provide an opportunity to become another person and chat with distant and invisible neighbors in the high-tech limbo of cyberspace. Social and emotional needs are met, flirting is allowed and even encouraged, and an illusion of intimacy feeds the addiction that has caught so many unsuspecting Internet surfers.

Motivations for Affairs
Affairs usually develop because the relationship meets various social and psychological needs. Self-esteem needs are often at the top of the list. Self-esteem needs are met through knowing, understanding, and acceptance. Psychologists say that those needs are enhanced through talking intimately about feelings, thoughts, and needs. This can take place in person or take place through the Internet.

Even though online affairs may not involve a physical component, the emotional attachment can be just as strong and even overwhelming. And when they end, this strong attachment usually leaves participants in emotional pain.

Women report feeling thrilled by their lover’s interest in them physically, emotionally, and intellectually. They are also excited about the chance to know a different man (how he thinks and feels). They also feel intimate with their lovers because they can talk about their feelings openly. However, when the affair ends, they feel a great deal of guilt with regard to their husband and children. They also regret the deceit that accompanied the affair.

Men report feeling excited about the sexual experience of the affair. They try to control their feelings in the affair and do not compete with their feelings for their wife. Often they limit the emotional involvement with their lover. Men also feel guilt and regret over deceit when an affair ends, but less so than most women.

Men and women have affairs for different reasons. Research has shown that women seek affairs in order to be loved, have a friend, and feel needed. Men seek affairs for sexual fulfillment, friendship, and fun.{5}

It appears that the percentage of women who have extramarital sex has increased the last few decades. In 1953 Alfred Kinsey found that 29 percent of married women admitted to at least one affair.{6} A Psychology Today survey in 1970 reported that 36 percent of their female readers had extramarital sex.{7} One study in 1987 found that 70 percent of women surveyed had been involved in an affair.{8}

It also appears that women who are employed full-time outside of the home are more likely to have an affair than full-time homemakers. Several studies come to this same conclusion. One study found that 47 percent of wives who were employed full-time and 27 percent of full-time homemakers had been involved in an affair before they were 40 years old.{9} And New Woman magazine found that 57 percent of employed wives who had an affair met their lover at work.{10}

Contrary to conventional wisdom, an affair will not help your marriage. In 1975, Linda Wolfe published 'Playing Around' after she studied twenty-one women who were having affairs to keep their marriages intact.{11} The reasoning for many of these women was that if they could meet their own needs, their marriages would be more successful. Many said they were desperately lonely. Others were afraid, believing their husbands did not love them or were not committed to their marriage. Five years after the initial study, only three of the twenty-one women were still married.

Adultery can destroy a marriage, whether a physical affair or an online affair.

Preventing an Affair
The general outline for some of these ideas comes from family therapist Frank Pittman, author of 'Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy,' although I have added additional material. He has counseled 10,000 couples over the last forty years, and about 7,000 have experienced infidelity. He has nineteen specific suggestions for couples on how to avoid affairs.{12} Let’s look at a few of them.
First, accept the possibility of being sexually attracted to another and of having sexual fantasies. Frank Pittman believes we should acknowledge that such thoughts can develop so that you don’t scare them into hiding. But he also says you shouldn’t act on them.

Second, we should hang out with monogamous people. He says, "They make a good support system."

Third, work on your marriage. He says to keep your marriage sexy and work to be intimate with your spouse. He also says to make marriage an important part of your identity. "Carry your marriage with you wherever you go."

Fourth, be realistic about your marriage. Pittman says, "Don’t expect your marriage to make you happy. See your partner as a source of comfort rather than a cause of unhappiness." Accept the reality of marriage; it isn’t always beautiful. Also accept that you are both imperfect.

Fifth, keep the marriage equal. Share parenting duties. "If not, one partner will become the full-time parent, and the other will become a full-time child" without responsibilities, who seeks to be taken care of. And keep the relationships equal. Pittman says, "The more equal it is, the more both partners will respect and value it."

Sixth, if you aren’t already married, be careful in your choice of a marriage partner. For example, marry someone who believes in, and has a family history of, monogamy. Frank Pittman says, "It is a bad idea to become the fifth husband of a woman who has been unfaithful to her previous four." Also, marry someone who respects and likes your gender. "They will get over the specialness of you yourself and eventually consider you as part of a gender they dislike."

Seventh, call home every day you travel. "Otherwise, you begin to have a separate life." And stay faithful. "If you want your partner to (stay faithful), it is a good idea to stay faithful yourself." And make sure you are open, honest, and authentic. Lies and deception create a secret life that can allow an affair to occur.

Finally, don’t overreact or exaggerate the consequences of an affair if it occurs. Pittman says, "It doesn’t mean there will be a divorce, murder or suicide. Catch yourself and work your way back into the marriage."
Affairs can destroy a marriage. Take the time to affair-proof your marriage so you avoid the pain, guilt and regret that inevitably results. And if you have fallen into an affair, work your way back and rebuild your marriage.

Consequences of Affairs
There are significant social, psychological, and spiritual consequences to adultery.

A major social cost is divorce. An affair that is discovered does not have to lead to divorce, but often it does. About one- third of couples remain together after the discovery of an adulterous affair, while the other two-thirds usually divorce.

Not surprisingly, the divorce rate is higher among people who have affairs. Annette Lawson (author of 'Adultery: An Analysis of Love and Betrayal') found that spouses who did not have affairs had the lowest rate of divorce. Women who had multiple affairs (especially if they started early in the marriage) had the highest rate of divorce.

A lesser known fact is that those who divorce rarely marry the person with whom they are having the affair. For example, Dr. Jan Halper’s study of successful men (executives, entrepreneurs, professionals) found that very few men who have affairs divorce their wife and marry their lovers. Only 3 percent of the 4,100 successful men surveyed eventually married their lovers.{13}

Frank Pittman has found that the divorce rate among those who married their lovers was 75 percent.{14} The reasons for the high divorce rate include: intervention of reality, guilt, expectations, a general distrust of marriage, and a distrust of the affairee.

The psychological consequences are also significant, even if they are sometimes more difficult to discern. People who pursue an affair often do so for self-esteem needs, but often further erode those feelings by violating trust, intimacy, and stability in a marriage relationship. Affairs do not stabilize a marriage, they upset it.

Affairs destroy trust. It’s not surprising that marriages formed after an affair and a divorce have such a high divorce rate. If your new spouse cheated before, what guarantee do you have that this person won’t begin to cheat on you? Distrust of marriage and distrust of the affairee are significant issues.

Finally, there are spiritual consequences to affairs. We threaten the sacred marriage bond between us and our spouse. We bring guilt into our lives and shame into our marriage and family. Affairs extract a tremendous price in our lives and the lives of those we love and hold dear.

And let’s not forget the long-term consequences. Affairs, for example, can lead to unwanted pregnancies. According to one report, "Studies of blood typing show that as many as 1 out of every 10 babies born in North America is not the offspring of the mother’s husband."{15} Affairs can also result in sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, chlamydia, herpes, or even AIDS. Many of these diseases are not curable and will last for a lifetime.

Adultery is dangerous, and so are online affairs. The popularity of the recent movie 'You’ve Got Mail' has helped feed the fantasy that you are writing to Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan. In nearly every case, nothing could be further from the truth. An online affair could happen to you, and the plot might be more like 'Fatal Attraction.'

Notes
1. Karen Peterson, "Spouses Browse Infidelity Online," USA Today, 6 July 1999, 1D.

2. Philip Blumstein and Pepper Schwartz, American Couples (New York: William Morrow,1983).

3. Maggie Scarf, Intimate Partners (New York: Ballantine, 1996).

4. Trish Hall, "Infidelity and Women: Shifting Patterns," New York Times, 1 June 1987, B8.

5. Annette Lawson, Adultery: An Analysis of Love and Betrayal (New York: Basic Books,1988).

6. Alfred Kinsey, et. al. Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders,1953).

7. R. Athanasiou, et. al. "Sex: A Report to Psychology Today Readers," Psychology Today, July 1970, 39-52.

8. Shere Hite, Women and Love (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1987).

9. Carol Travis and Susan Sadd, The Redbook Report on Female Sexuality (New York:Delacorte Press, 1977).

10. "Infidelity Survey," New Woman, October- November 1986.

11. Linda Wolfe, Playing Around: Women and Extramarital Sex (New York: WilliamMorrow, 1975).

12. "Reducing the risks of a wandering eye," USA Today, 6 July 1999, 10D.

13. Jan Halper, Quiet Desperation: The Truth About Successful Men (New York: WarnerBooks, 1988).

14. Frank Pittman, Private Lies: Infidelity and the Betrayal of Intimacy (New York: Norton,1989).

15. William Allman, "The Mating Game," U.S. News and World Report, 19 July 1993, 57-63.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Computer Evidence Recovery - It Can Be Done!




(This is an advertisement however, I felt it useful to post it here to show cyberpaths, cheaters, and those hurt by them - that NOTHING you put online is lost EVER!! Don't assume it's gone just because you/they erased it! - Fighter)

People use computers for everything, many of which are very negative, including cheating you, hiding money, having an affair and just about every other thing you can imagine.

Frequently, these same people clean out the computer before they depart by deleting “everything” or “reformatting” the computer. The reality is THE EVIDENCE IS STILL THERE, waiting to be found. Often we can even prove what steps they took to try and destroy the evidence! The only question is do you want it or not.

Why would a Private Investigator be involved in this work? Simply put, the art of computer data recovery by private investigators came from more traditional assignments, like e-mail tracing, locating web site owners, identifying computers on the internet, etc. The handful of Private Investigators who focused in this area became more and more involved in recovering information from computers and they spent almost countless hours working in this area. We at A.S.G. are pleased to have access to the very specialized and talented private investigators who can get the evidence you need off of a computer that has been cleaned.

Forensic Data Recovery
Forensic Data Recovery is the science of recovering information from a computer that may have been deleted or otherwise damaged or hidden.

One of the key elements in every data forensics procedure is time. .Users may unintentionally or inadvertently overwrite evidence simply by continuing to complete their daily tasks. Our specialists will quickly and cost- effectively collect and preserve data or evidence that may have been deleted or become inaccessible through normal computing methods. Our specialists can determine if certain information exists and, if so, where it might be located.

When the data storage media is recovered either on location or at our lab facility, an accurate audit trail commences. The media is immediately logged into a tracking system and a log is produced. This log, suitable for all legal proceedings, accompanies the media throughout the recovery process. A.S.G. will then ensure the continuity of evidence by adding the investigator’s name, signature, date and a detailed description of what was done.

At this stage of the process, Federal Rules of Evidence apply. Our company’s expertise in magnetic media storage devices begins to play a crucial role. First - the media is replicated exactly through a bit-by-bit acquisition process, ensuring the integrity of the subject media is intact, and evidence preserved. Our specialists then work only with duplicate copies ensuring that no contamination of the original data takes place.

Our services include electronic discovery consultation; onsite seizure of the evidence; thorough processing of the evidence; interpretation of the results; reporting the results in an understandable manner; and court recognized expert testimony.In this preliminary examination, Advanced Surveillance Group provides the client a detailed report outlining file structures, media integrity, and the recoverability of deleted files. This report may be used to determine if the files present will be of assistance in the investigation. Our specialists will then make recommendations on how to proceed if further information needs to be retrieved. This report allows our clients to make an informed decision on the various options that may be available to them. The client’s needs augmented with our recommendations assure that the time spent on the analysis is focused at all times.

Here is a brief list of what is possible:
Recovery of deleted computer files

Data recovery even after a hard drive has been reformatted or repartitioned

In many cases encrypted files can be decrypted

Determination of web sites that have been visited

Determination of what files have been downloaded

Determination of when files were last accessed

Determination of when files were deleted

Discovery of attempts to conceal or destroy evidence

Discovery of attempts to fabricate evidence

Discovery of hidden text that was removed from the final printed version of a document

Discovery of faxes sent or received on a computer

Discovery of email messages and attachments even if previously deleted

Recovery of financial records and other documents

We Provide:
Analysis of Computers and Data in Criminal Investigations

Onsite Seizure of Computer Data in Criminal Investigations

Analysis of Computers and Data in Civil Litigation

Onsite seizure of Computer Data in Civil Litigation

Analysis of Company Computers to Determine Employee Activity

Assistance in Preparing Electronic Discovery Requests

Reporting in a Comprehensive and Readily Understandable Manner

Computer Forensics on Both PC and Mac Platforms

DATA RECOVERY
We are one of a mere handful of companies worldwide that specialize in the restoration and retrieval of computer data. Our specialists can recover data from virtually any medium including:

Desktop Computers
Laptop Computers
PDAs
Compact Disks
Floppy Disks
Zip Disks
Thumb Drives
Portable Storage Devices
All Manner of Digital Camera Storage Cards
Tape Backup
RAID Sets

from: http://www.cheatingspousepi.com

(NOTE: Don't ever assume because you deleted it or got it erased its gone! If you or the cyberpath posted it on a message board, dating site, database site, or so on - sometimes searching a site like - http://www.archive.org will retrieve it for you! Also, deleted files and files on reformatted drives can be recovered!! This site owner has seen it done. The computer world makes you think you are anonymous and invisible and anything can be erased & forgotten.... WRONG! - Fighter)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Internet: There is Nothing Personal About It

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Digital Dating: The Malt Shop of the Millennium

By Dr. Dave Greenfield, The Center for Internet Behavior

The Internet has been a potential boon for personal ads. The Net allows individuals to narrow their search for love @ light speed to specific geographic or demographic variables affording users to be quite specific (e.g. picky) in meeting their expectations. This greater specificity and choice can run the risk of creating an illusion of endless opportunity and almost relentless perfectionism. It is hard enough to manage our real-time needs and fantasies, but the virtual world adds a new dimension. This unending source of virtual partners can blur the boundaries between real-time and virtual living producing a love-life that can remain socially unconsummated. It is this absence of an actual, physical connection that makes Internet dating less than ideal. The experience is no longer a tool or a means to an end (a relationship), but rather an end unto itself. The process becomes the outcome. There now seems to be an unending supply of potential suitors and mates-the key word is potential , as the electronic dating experience seems to a new-age form of entertainment. People seem to become almost unreasonably picky, and all the while, never actually having to make a commitment of speaking with the person (by phone or in person), let alone dealing with the less-than-ideal aspects of the person. It takes little investment of time and energy (or commitment) to send off a quick email, or to copy and paste a self-description, or to digitize your likeness to spread all over cyberspace. Is this dating? Is this relating? I'm not sure, but the Internet medium seems to mediate communications in some strange and powerful ways.

A human relationship, even the casualness of dating and early courtship, requires some presence and intention. Digital dating can distort what the purpose of the processes is-that is to meet, connect, and possibly develop a relationship. People also lie online; my research indicated that approximately 50% of web users admit to lying online-typically about physical characteristics and attributes. We also loose some of the boundaries and innuendo of face-to-face communication. E-mail cannot reveal context and facial cues which can and do add to the richness of communication. Even so, having hundreds of potential cyber-suitors can be quite seductive. It can begin to feel like you are really dating, when in fact your may be simply engaging in an almost narcissistic process of reflected adoration. Who wouldn't like receiving hundreds of emails bestowing interest (whether real or feigned)?

I have had several patients use Internet personals. Many have had positive experiences. Some have even met the person and hit it off, but many have found the experience to be lacking. In my book Virtual Addiction I describe communicating online as an almost "flat" or two-dimensional experience. It just doesn't seem to capture the richness of human communication, or if it does capture it seems to do so within a narrow range of expression.

For previously noted, personal ads lend themselves to the Internet medium. The Internet allows for a larger potential audience and easier access to people than would ordinarily be available. Our research survey is a case in point. We received over eighteen thousand responses in less than two weeks! There is no communications medium on earth that can reproduce those results with the same cost or simplicity. Welcome to the age of where convenience is the mother of invention, not necessity!

There the stories that you've heard in the media of people who met in chat rooms and fell hopelessly in love and lived happily ever. There are also those stories where your cyber-prince was actually a virtual frog! There are numerous instances where people meet in an interest or topic room and begin a relationship based on mutual interests; this is no different than meeting someone at a class or activity where you share in common interest. Many of these topic rooms have personal ads as a feature of that room or service, which again is the electronic equivalent of meeting at a Sierra club meeting. The topic rooms may certainly include non-sexual areas, but even those with serious non-sexual can seem to have a flirtatious flavor. Here are a few of the hundreds of emails I received regarding love online:

"We Met on WBS and immediately fell in love. We are currently living together,
engaged to be married, and happier than ever in our lives."

"In the early days of the Internet, before the World Wide Web, there were Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) that are similar to the chat rooms of the Web. Rather than
clicking on links and using Java, we had to telnet into a server and constantly check for new messages. I was on it constantly. I was a sophomore in College and, after a promising freshman year, I was spiraling down the vortex of Internet addiction. I stopped going to classes, I stopped doing homework, and I pretty much stopped sleeping. When I wasn't online, I was running up huge phone bills talking to people that I met online from all over the country (the campus provided a free Internet link). Most of my time was spent searching for girls who would feed my ego and excite me sexually. Needless to say, there were plenty of girls who became a lot less conservative online. Finally, after about a year and a half of searching and many Long Distance Relationships (LDRs), I found a girl close by and we have a very strong and loving relationship. In May we are to be married. Because of her, I no longer needed the Internet to feed my desires, imagination, and intelligence. I shifted the focus of my life toward my college education. I have since graduated and got a very good job with a well-known international company. Looking back on that period in my life, I am disappointed at my lack of will and discipline. However, I am glad that I met my future wife and that is also how I learned to type."

"I am amazed at the in-depth level conversations can go between two people basically sitting at a keyboard reading a screen. Once the relationship is established and the two people know enough about each other to feel comfortable, the communication becomes very open. Intimate details of living are discussed openly and advice is given two-ways based on life experiences. Sometimes I have found myself actually sitting here crying and telling the person I'm crying. What I am writing to them about is so intense that they can feel my pain and they are also crying. These are counseling and comforting sessions that real-life friends don't seem to have the time or the inclination to give. I have even developed a very sexual relationship with a man who matches all the characteristics I want in a man. But I don't want one in real life right now because I've just gone through a death. The closeness you can feel sitting at a keyboard is amazing. It makes "Sleepless in Seattle" outdated because you can connect via the Net and reach as far and as deep into each other's lives as you wish. And, ultimately, you can block any further conversations. I have to tell you, I would not dump someone without telling him or her why. That would be my rule in real life, and I wouldn't treat an Internet friend with any less consideration."
An online relationship can develop rapidly and may move to a "private chatroom" where people may engage in more personal and private discussion. If someone wishes to have cybersex (cybering), they can actually retire to the equivalent of an electronic bedroom. These are private chat rooms, where one can privately have cybersex with no one viewing the conversation. But more often than not, if the relationship does not move to cybersex, then it seems to remain a form of relating that's doomed to become "lost in cyberspace."

Back to personal ads. In personal ads any individual can answer an ad and if the listing individual is interested, phone numbers can be exchanged, often culminating in a real-time meeting. This in essence is no different than how it works in newspapers and magazines, except online personals can be more directly targeted to specific interest groups and demographics. It should be cautioned, however, that the Internet is a completely anonymous medium and is therefore not entirely safe or predictable. As I noted many individuals on the Internet are likely to be lying about some aspect of them, often including their sexual identity or other personal circumstances. In some cases our survey showed lying rates as high as fifty percent for heavy Net users! I have been told of many cases where people were not who they said they were, and this is often found out after meeting and having a sexual encounter. Recently I was told of a case where a woman was conversing online and met a man who flew in from Hawaii to see her; they spent a week together and then he disappeared, without a trace! No one knows what his real story was? Stories such as this are not unusual and sometimes they can be worse.

Individuals should always exercise extreme caution when meeting people whom they've met over the Net. I have spoken to many individuals who have indicated that they met over the Net and have established successful and, in some cases, long-lasting personal relationships. However, there are an equal number of horror stories, whereby individuals had met people on the Net who they did not know. It can be quite dangerous as we have seen. I had one patient tell me that she had been communicating with a sexual fetishist (dominance and discipline) who it later turned out to be a serial killer who lured his victims to him via Internet personal ads. In other cases people were abducted, raped or, and killed. Remember, on the Internet, you truly are buying a "pig in the poke" and the high degree on anonymity creates a safe distance for dishonest, as well as honest people!

Guidelines finding for love online
The following guidelines apply to answering any personal ad , but have particular importance for online personals.

- It is strongly suggested that if you intend to have a personal contact with somebody you met on the Net that you do so in a public place.

- It is suggested that you meet during the day, preferably in a busy or crowded area.

- It is a good idea that you spend some time finding out more about the real person and that you verify their information from other sources. Don't be afraid to call references and friend of his or hers. Be direct, and don't be afraid of insulting the person; if they are insulted than run the other way, because they probably have something to hide.

- Remember most people lie on the Net about something.

- Clearly, there are good people on the Net. After all you're on-line and you are a good person. However the Net is also perfect medium for devious and mentally ill individuals to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. Be cautious to not count yourself among other victims.

- It also should be cautioned to never include information identifying your home address or phone number in your personal profile on the Internet. If you put information about yourself on the Internet, you have to assume that people will have access to it. I have been amazed at the trouble that people have gone to in finding out personal information about me, and there may be people whom you do not want to have this information. Do not, under any circumstances, give out your real name, phone number, or address on the Internet without having a sense of who you are providing it to.

- Remember, if they really want to, other people can see everything that appears online that is not encrypted.

- When placing an ad, be specific about your personality and what you want. Don't be vague and cutesy. Try to resist the temptation toward being so flirtatious that it clouds your better judgment, or doesn't communicate what you really want.

The Internet is a wonderful tool for connecting people. It is also a very easy method for avoiding real connection and increasing our social isolation. It is one of the few communication mediums that can separate/isolate us from others while we are attempting "connecting" to other people. The Internet, e-mail, instant messaging, chat, and personals all have their place, but they are not an end to them selves; and they are definitely not a substitute for real-time connection and social interaction.

Dating requires some intention. The gratification should not only come from the ego-boost of digitally-amplified attention and adoration, but rather from the positive and pleasurable experience of sharing and relating. Dating should not become perpetual window shopping. Virtual relating can become addicting in its own right, but in my opinion in will always fall short of real-time connection. Sometimes the path to satisfaction doesn't lead to an electronic bedroom!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

BULLETIN: OUR FIRST CYBERPATH - OUT OF JAIL!

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ED HICKS aka CHARLES EDWARD HICKS was released from jail yesterday.

Women beware!

Read all about him by scrolling through these posts.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

e-Rapport: Using NLP to Create Easy Connections through eMail

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e-Rapport: Using NLP to Create Easy Connections through eMail

by Jennifer Bryant, M.A.

For most of us, a day doesn't go by where we are not sending and receiving email. Whether you use email to connect with friends, clients or to expand business networks, you can use some simple NLP techniques to easily maximize your email connections.

In general, we tend to like people who seem similar to us. You might think this is due to shared interests or some other kind of compatibility. Yet, from NLP we know there are specific elements of our communication patterns that create bonds which are more influential than shared interests, personal attributes, or even personality. These elements make up the structure of our communication. This does not refer to what we say, but rather, how we say what we say.

The key to excellent rapport via email is to notice these elements in messages from others and use them in your responses. This creates the impression that "this person is just like me." The result is a comfort level that paves the way for an easy connection. Here are some elements of communication to be aware of:

1. Identify and use similar types of sensory words ('seeing', 'hearing', and 'feeling')

Does the sender use one kind of sensory language more than others, or is there a mix? In your response, use the same type or types of sensory language.

Here are some examples with rapport enhancing responses. The first example uses 'seeing' type of language:
Let's meet for lunch and look at the statements from Jan/02. I want to get your viewpoint on the proposal.

Response: I'm looking forward to lunch and sharing my views on the proposal.
Here's an example of 'hearing' types of language:
I heard you were going to be in town Friday and was hoping we could meet for lunch. How does that sound?

Response: Sounds great. I know a quiet restaurant where we can talk. I'll call you when I get in.
Here's an example of 'feeling' language...
Kate and I would love it if you could join us to go over our travel plans. We're hoping to have a calm and relaxing vacation this year.

Response: I'm so glad you stayed in touch. I'd be happy to meet and help firm up your plans.

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2. Sentence length and style

Notice sentence length. Are they short and to the point, or longer and more complex? The next examples convey exactly the same information but use different structures:
I just wanted to know if you are available for a meeting on Wednesday?
(Introductory clause, longer)

Are you available Wednesday for a meeting? (Short, right to the point)
3. Use of acronyms/abbreviations

Some people abbreviate words like 'meeting' to 'mtg.,' or 'Wednesday', to 'Wed.' Chat room abbreviations might also make their way into emails. If you want the '411' on commonly used online abbreviations go to www.searchwebservices.techtarget.com.

Needless to say, it's a rapport builder if, in your reply, you use abbreviations similar to those that were in the initial email.

4. Salutations/degree of formality

Match salutation and sign offs with either the same or similar ones. If you receive an email with Dear Mr. Jones, address your reply in the same fashion. If the writing is casual ("Hey there") adopt that tone.

The same goes for sign offs. If they've included professional information after their name, do the same with your reply, and arrange the information in a similar format.

5. General structure

If someone writes a brief email, reply in the same way. If they give lots of detail, then include similar amounts in your response. Notice how the information is presented: is each idea in a separate paragraph, is the email one big paragraph, or a bit of both?

Overall, you probably have a preference for email style that is similar to your own. If you like them to the point, those long emails with the happy faces just might drive you nuts.
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The key to excellent communication is having the flexibility to mimic someone else's style. Just as you wouldn't wear a business suit to the beach, matching someone else's structure of communication is a powerful way to create connections and foster excellent e-rapport. Oh, and if those smiley faces are
getting you down, just pass this article along.


Jennifer Bryant, M.A. completed her Master Practitioner in 2003 and returned to coach with us in Winter Park in 2004. She is in private practice in in Ottawa Canada and trains for her own organization as well as Georgian Bay NLP. She can be reached at jennifer.bryant@sympatico.ca

(NLP is a powerful personal & professional tool - but in the hands of an online predator/ cyberpath its lethal to the target. The effect discussed above is called MIRRORING on 'seduction sites.' Check to see if your 'online friend' is MIRRORING you. Ed Hicks, Nathan E.B. Thomas, "J", Keith Clive and others all used this technique - Fighter)

Friday, October 06, 2006

INTERNET ROMANCE LEADS TO SEX ASSAULT CHARGES


NORTH SYRACUSE, NY (AP) - State police charged a 22-year-old man with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old found in 2005 in a hotel after a missing-child alert. Connor Izard of Clay was charged with rape and committing a sexual act, both felonies, and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

State Police Investigator Timothy Siddell said the 16-year-old Geneva girl met Izard on the Internet. The two talked online for a month before deciding to meet, he said.

They went to the Knight's Inn in Liverpool and had plans to leave for New York City and "points unknown" after that, he said.

Authorities in Geneva had issued an Amber alert for the teenager.

(while the media tends to point out only child-online predators - MAKE NO MISTAKE - this happens to adults too!! - Fighter)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

LITTLE WHITE LIES DAMAGING THE ONLINE DATING INDUSTRY


by Dave Evans

Mark Brooks over at onlinepersonalswatch thinks liars are hurting not only themselves but also the online dating industry.

Lies are always good for the short term and bad for the long term. Singles need to hold themselves to a higher standard of integrity. I advise anyone who goes on a date and finds themselves in front of a liar to immediately excuse themselves from that date. "Sorry, I'm not comfortable continuing with this date because you lied to me. It was a pleasure meeting you however. Thanks, bye."

Can you imagine if people did this? Bars and coffee houses around the nation would be littered with overturned chairs by people leaving in a huff.

Approximately 35 million people have tried online dating in the US. Taking various reports (research and anecdotal) into account, about a third of them are lying through their teeth, a big reason why online dating is foundering against the shoals of social networking.

One would think people paying for dating sites would be more truthful, such is not the case.

This is the primary reason why social networks can be more effective than dating sites to meet people. People tend to be more honest about themselves on social networks.

Here's what I think is going to happen. Dating sites will drag their feet until they are forced to offer background checks. In the meantime, the spammers, scammers and wackos are migrating to social networking sites. Because Myspace is owned by a global conglomerate which must squeeze as much revenue as possible before fickle kids move on to the next big thing, they will adopt privacy standards, terms of service and security measures far beyond anything the dating industry is willing to implement at this time.

Interesting that a romance coach is the only commenter who used the word trust. I'd rather see people argue the merits of establishing trust as opposed to approaching the issue from the white lie perspective.

A background check may keep you from having coffee with an ex-con, but hardly make people more honest. Background check companies (clients of mine), have been working to develop a value proposition that appeals to dating sites as a win-win situation.

Dating sites want to see the money, they are not interested in increasing the level of trust and the overall quality of members on their site. This somewhat myopic yet understandable perspective will gradually shift as dating sites begin to take into consideration the quality and reputation of their members. Especially when it comes time to be acquired.

As I have stated often, the dating industry need to establish a set of common trust protocols, sharable across different sites. Several companies are close to coming up with various solutions which all sites can use. These are not the typical rateadate sites currently vying for people's attention. Rating sites, while fun to peruse, don't have the traction, features or reliability to be truly useful, although progress is being made.

Not many daters take advantage of profile services or romance coaches and they certainly don't take advice from dating columns on dating sites or newspapers. These are reliable source of information, and pieces of the trust puzzle, but the complete solution continues to allude the industry as a whole.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

ONLINE DATING JUST GOT A LITTLE SAFER


The Safer Online Dating Alliance applauds today's announcement that a convicted sexual predator was removed from a top online dating site and banned from all dating and relationship sites. This landmark settlement sends a powerful message that member safety should be the primary concern for online dating companies and sets an example for other online dating companies to follow.

"It is encouraging that online dating companies are beginning to make safety a top priority," said Celeste Moyers, program director for the Safer Online Dating Alliance. "If just one sexual assault is prevented through safer online dating practices, it is well worth the effort."

In November 2005, according to court records, a convicted sex offender from California accessed several online dating sites, including TRUE.com, and violated TRUE's membership criteria by denying his criminal record. The court documents contend a female TRUE.com member familiar with the sex offender's record alerted TRUE and other online dating companies. Press reports state TRUE.com investigated the claim, removed the sexual predator's profile from its site, alerted their members who had been in contact with him, and filed a civil lawsuit against him. Other online dating sites, aware of his presence, did not take the same immediate action.

Online dating companies should place member safety first and foremost. The convenience and anonymity of the Internet makes dating wonderfully convenient for many people, but it also gives predators access to thousands of online dating profiles for malicious purposes. By preventing this convicted sexual predator from accessing online dating sites, TRUE.com has made the online dating world a little safer.

A SODA coalition member, TRUE.com is considering donating all funds from the settlement to further SODA's legislative and education initiatives. These initiatives include supporting legislation to help prevent sexual and financial crimes in online dating, raising public awareness of safer online dating practices and encouraging online dating companies to implement proactive measures to support the safety of their members.

The Safer Online Dating Alliance is a broad-based network of supporters from across the nation committed to improving online safety and preventing cyber crime and sexual assault. For more information, visit our website at http://www.saferonlinedating.org/

Website: http://www.saferonlinedating.org/

Sunday, October 01, 2006

INSTANT MESSAGING BRINGS DOWN A CONGRESSMAN

House GOP Leadership knew about Foley almost a year ago, let Foley remain in House leadership, let him remain as chair of House SEX OFFENDER CAUCUS!


UPDATE: Foley's "instant message" communications with yet another underage boy, circa 2003, have now been posted by ABC. They are horrendous. I cannot believe that Denny Hastert knew about Foley using the Net to chat-up underage boys a year ago and DID NOTHING (you'll recall that the email conversations we posted earlier were around the time of Hurricane Katrina last year).

Tell me why Denny Hastert shouldn't be forced to immediately resign. They left your kids with this man AFTER they knew what he was doing. They let him stay in the GOP leadership. They let him remain the chair of the child sex offender caucus. Jesus Christ.

From ABC News:
Does House Republican leader Denny Hastert have a soft spot for child sex offenders?

Seems so. Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert has some serious explaining to do, after today's revelations that they knew about ex-Congressman Mark Foley's sexscapades a good year ago, and did nothing.

Whether or not the kid's parents were fine with letting it go, which the story says is the case, why did Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert permit Foley to remain in the House GOP leadership for almost a year after they knew he was having sex talk with minors online, minors he met on the job?

Why did Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert leave Foley as the co-chair of the House body in charge of child sex offenses for a good year after they knew?

Why did Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert permit Foley to stay in the House at all, where he would be around other pages every day all day long?

And just as importantly, why did Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert let Foley lie publicly yesterday about the emails, claiming they were innocent, and simply a dirty attack from the Democrats, when the House leadership knew the real story?

And finally, we find out that the FBI was contacted two months about this story. Was there any follow-up from the Bush FBI? Or did they just let this potential case of child sex offense go by the wayside because it involved a friend of Bush?

From from the SF Chronicle:
The page worked for Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., who said Friday that when he learned of the e-mail exchanges 10 to 11 months ago, he called the teen's parents. Alexander told the Ruston Daily Leader, "We also notified the House leadership that there might be a potential problem," a reference to the House's Republican leaders.

Foley was a member of the Republican leadership, serving as a deputy whip. He also was a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

It's interesting that Republican Speaker Hastert's home page says Mr. Hastert is having a community meeting about "Keeping Kids Safe in Cyberspace." Here's one way: Next time someone tells you one of your friends is soliciting sex with a minor, do something about it.

The following is an instant message exchange a former page says he had with Rep. Foley in 2003.
Warning: sexually explicit language, reader discretion is advised.

Maf54 (7:25:14 PM): hey

Auto response from Xxxxxxxxx (7:25:14 PM): scrounging for food…brb

Maf54 (7:25:25 PM): ok

Maf54 (7:25:35 PM): kep scrounging

Xxxxxxxxx (7:31:51 PM): boo

Maf54 (7:32:13 PM): bo dude

Xxxxxxxxx (7:32:17 PM): lol

Xxxxxxxxx (7:32:26 PM): whered ya go this afternoon

Maf54 (7:33:39 PM): i am in pensecola…had to catch a plane

Xxxxxxxxx (7:33:47 PM): oh well thats fun

Maf54 (7:34:04 PM): indeed

Xxxxxxxxx (7:34:14 PM): what are you doing in pensecola

Maf54 (7:34:21 PM): now in my hotel room

Xxxxxxxxx (7:34:39 PM): well ..like why did you go there

Maf54 (7:35:02 PM): for the campaign

Xxxxxxxxx (7:35:29 PM): have you officialy announced yt

Maf54 (7:35:45 PM): not yet

Xxxxxxxxx (7:36:06 PM): cool cool…

Maf54 (7:37:27 PM): how my favorite young stud doing

Xxxxxxxxx (7:37:46 PM): tired and sore

Xxxxxxxxx (7:37:52 PM): i didnt no waltzing could make you sore

Maf54 (7:38:04 PM): from what

Xxxxxxxxx (7:38:34 PM): what do you mean from what

Xxxxxxxxx (7:38:42 PM): from waltzing…im sore from waltzing


ORIGINAL BLOG POST HERE