UPDATE

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

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cyberharassers: You Can Hide, But You Can Not Run

If you think using a false identity will allow you to slander or harass people online, think again. Anonymity will not save you.

By Dan Tynan

You gotta love the InterWebs. You can get away with saying practically anything about anybody-- and if you hide behind a fake identity, nobody will ever be able to tell it’s you. Right?

Well, no. You can’t just say slander or harass someone without repercussions. If what you say or do would break a law in physical space, it will also break laws in cyber space. And I don’t care how anonymous you think you are, your identity is only a subpoena away.

(REMINDER: Every victim who's predator/ harasser has been exposed on EOPC has to sign a legally binding document that holds EOPC harmless. The post(s) is the FULL responsibility of the victim who sends the information to be posted.)

William Lawrence Cassidy found this out the hard way after he posted some 8,000 nasty, threatening, and disturbing tweets directed at one woman: Alyce Zeoli, a Buddhist leader in Maryland.

Cassidy, who also went by a variety of aliases including Tulku Urgyan Tenpa Rinpoche and Marshal Jim Duncan, probably thought he was being clever by posting the tweets via fake names. He wasn’t. He's now cooling his heels in a Maryland jail cell, awaiting trial for cyber harassment.

Per the New York Times:

in response to a subpoena, [Twitter] revealed the Internet protocol address of the computer used to post the messages. The authorities found Mr. Cassidy at home in a small Southern California town called Lucerne Valley. Similar rants were posted on blogs that law enforcement authorities say they traced to him.

I had a tiny taste of something similar myself recently, after I made a joke about the Tea Party in a blog post. I said that before I friended anyone on Facebook I always make sure they’re not ax murderers or Tea Party members. After this lone comment prompted a handful of “news” stories on right-wing sites, I tweeted out a formal apology – to ax murderers.

You’d think I’d bitch slapped Sarah Palin while strangling a puppy. I cannot repeat here most of the nasty NSFW things these people said about me in blog comments and on Twitter.

But the worst one was the pseudonymous a**clown who made a “joke” by tweeting about my alleged fondness for kiddie porn. I informed him that he was flirting with a defamation suit, but he didn’t care – he seemed to think he was immune.

I’m not sure what these people thought they’d achieve by this campaign, but I think they proved my point about why I wouldn’t want to friend them.

Some free speech advocates argue that Twitter is a public forum where all voices should be heard. In Cassidy’s case, his alleged harassment of Zeoli seems to go well beyond free speech and into threats against her physical safety.

In my case, well, I’m a big fan of the First Amendment – I use it every day -- but I don’t think it gives you a license to slander or knowingly spread falsehoods. And I’m not alone.
“There is a whole litany of things that are not protected by the First Amendment, including illegal activity and copyright violations,” notes Bennet Kelly, a Los Angeles attorney specializing in cyber law who’s also an award-winning blogger for the Huffington Post.

Kelley often represents people who’ve been harassed or stalked online, typically by people posting anonymously or via a fake identity.


“These people think they’re immune, that they can hide their identity and get away with anything,” says Kelley. “But the victims usually have a pretty good idea of who these people are, and if not, we can investigate and find out.”

The simplest route: Take the account information and/or IP addresses used by the harasser, and demand their real identity and contact info from their service providers.

Once Kelley approaches the harassers, they usually take the offending material down to avoid further legal consequences.

Unfortunately, cyber harassment doesn’t get the attention it deserves, says Kelley. “People get all upset about cookies invading the privacy,” he says. “When’s the last time someone committed suicide over a cookie?”

TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan hasn’t sued anybody yet, but there’s still time. Visit his snarky, occasionally NSFW blog eSarcasm or follow him on Twitter: @tynan_on_tech.


original article here

Saturday, September 29, 2012

DARREN MEADE - Hired Smear Campaigner

Let's look first at the authorized statement of Meade's latest victim: Michael :



Response to Darren M Meade's Allegations Against Rexxfield Founder Michael Roberts on RipOffReport.com and Elsewhere (Kairos-Meade)


For Immediate Release September 16 2012


--- BEGIN Authorized Statement ---
The incessant ad hominem attacks on my character by Darren Mitchell Meade would probably need a small book to adequately address each of the many allegations. However, in the interests of brevity I will attempt to reduce my response so as to retain the reader’s attention.

It is my humble request that parties interested in perceiving the truth or falsity of either Darren Meade's assertions, or for that matter my response, do consider the source of the allegations before placing any value on the substance.

The following 30-second video clip was recorded by an unknown person and distributed anonymously some time ago. Therein, Darren Meade in his own words demonstrates the gleeful satisfaction he derives from tormenting the targets of his Internet smear campaigns. In this case, it was the renowned Stanford educated physician Dr. Scott Connelly:

 


VIDEO (30 Secs Long) (Explicit):
Meade Describes His Smear Campaign





Extortion, Distortion & Revenge
Darren M Meade Smears Rexxfield Founder Michael Roberts

Click Here for Part 1 of 2
Click Here Part 2 of 2


Darren Meade Timeline Video

Short version (9 Mins).
Full version (30 Mins).




Here is Darren Meade's Litany of Allegations Against Michael of Rexxfield:


"Michael is a Registered Child Abuse and is on Iowa Central Abuse Register."


RESPONSE: This is a blatant lie.
LINK: Copy of Iowa DHS Child Abuse Background Check dated Sept 20, 2012.

3rd Party Verification. Any person may verify this for them selves for free with this form and fax: Central Abuse Registry IA DHS P.O. Box 4826 Des Moines, IA 50305
Fax to: 515-242-6884

"Michael had an arrest and conviction for domestic battery in 2000."


NOTE: The irony of these allegations will not escape most readers. Darren is referring to an event on December 20, 2000 when I was wrongfully jailed overnight, and subsequently cleared. Whereas, on that very same day, Darren Meade became subject to a domestic restraining order filed by Laura J. Kelley who reported Darren Meade's stalking and violent outbursts.

Link: Darren Meade's Restraining Order by Laura J. Kelley Colorado (Dec 20,2000).
 
RESPONSE: True in part, lies in part. I was arrested, not convicted. On December 20, 2000 my ex-wife Tracey physically assaulted me after a customer went bankrupt owing my company $26,000. She began kicking holes in the wall of the office with her boots, I restrained her and she began stomping on my feet.

Photographs of holes kicked in wall by Tracey

Tracey Richter Spousal Abuse Tracey Richter Spousal Abuse


After things cooled down I announced my intention to divorce. 45 minutes later I was in handcuffs and I spent the night in jail. However, what Tracey meant for evil God meant for good, and I had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with an elderly man who had intended to kill himself when he was released the next day. At that time, the other 10 inmates in the shared cell stayed awake with myself and "Jim" listening to this good news until about 5 am. Tracey begged me not to plead innocence because she said her ex-husband would use my testimony against her false allegations to gain an advantage in the custody battle of their son Bert, my stepson. I agreed to plead no contest to disturbing the peace. That way, I would not need to testify that Tracey filed a false police report. Hindsight has 20/20, if only I had done things differently, Bert & my kids would not have to have witnessed a murder; Bert would not have been forced to participate in the crime after the fact. More importantly, Dustin would probably be alive, and who knows, maybe I would be back in Australia with my children?

"Michael is a bigamist"


Darren wrote: "Tracey's husband even married another woman while still married to Tracey" and "Michael and Tracey went on with their fragile marriage that finally ended in 2008."

Response: The marriage ended in March 2004 when I survived Tracey's attempt to murder me. The judge issued an interlocutory dissolution of marriage on December 3rd 2007. I married my current wife in early 2008.


"Michael has been diagnosed with a mental illness"


These excerpts for the final decree for the marriage dissolution sums this up well:

"Tracey would, at times, give information to medical care providers, in an attempt to have physicians find that Michael has a mental condition. She would be involved when Michael was seeing his family physician… At one point Dr. Brinck, a psychologist, diagnosed Michael as being bipolar….Michael was examined by Dr. Charles E. Murphy. In Dr. Murphy's opinion, Michael is not bipolar. Dr. Murphy's diagnosis is post-traumatic stress syndrome and ADHD. The weight of the evidence establishes that Michael is not bipolar."

"Michael is a criminal hacker"


RESPONSE: Darren Meade attempted to extort from me the meager sum of $5000 in October 2011. After my refusal, he set a deadline of October 31. He followed through with his promise. In a coup d'état he was able to persuade a Fox News Journalist that I was a criminal hacker, and these allegations graced the front page of FoxNews.com on January 20, 2012.

Whereas, in the following e-mail message sent by Darren Meade to a department of justice attorney just three months before the extortion demands, Meade describes me as a victim of the crime syndicate of which he now tries to persuade readers I am a connected:

Letter from Darren M Meade to US Dept. of Justice


"Michael failed a polygraph"


RESPONSE: Below is a hyper link to the polygraph in question and as can be seen there is no reference to "failure"; in fact the polygraph operator determines the results to be "inconclusive" -- this does not indicate deception but rather confusion or anxiety. There were three questions in the polygraph, one of which was something to the effect of "do you know the identity of the second intruder". Whereas, although I initially strenuously defended my ex-wife's actions in the 2001 homicide, the evidence I saw with my own eyes planted seeds of doubt as to the veracity of her account of that fateful night. In fact, I never really believed there was a second intruder. The investigators told me later that that was most likely the reason the results were ambiguous. After this revelation I volunteered for a third polygraph which is also linked below.

(1) First Inconclusive polygraph by DCI (Coming soon, copy requested from police)

(2) Inconclusive polygraph result by O'Brien

(3) Subsequent polygraph results with clarified question: "If we assume there was a second man, do you know his identity?"

"Use of hacking code via the Internet to tamper with the jury convened for ex-wife's murder trial."


RESPONSE: This allegation is simply absurd. However, if we were to entertain the suggestion for a moment, an objective reader should be able to just as quickly dismiss it because Darren Meade did not raise this allegation until long after my ex-wife's murder trial; more to the point, he did not raise this allegation until he realized that his other character attacks were not gaining the traction he had hoped. In fact, this gradual escalation and elevation of flaming aspersions is his modus operandi in any distortion campaign he runs, no matter who the target.

"Witness Protection Program."


Darren M Meade alleges that: Iowa prosecutors allowed me to stay in a witness protection program so that my ex-wife's defense attorney could not serve me with a subpoena.

RESPONSE: The fallacious nature of this allegation is evidenced by the following facts (a) the program that was protecting my children and me was under the California Secretary of State,
(b) the murder was being prosecuted through the state of Iowa and
(c) Iowa officials have no say in what the California secretary of state does for its residents.

"Michael Was Founded for Child Abuse and is on Central Abuse Register."


RESPONSE: This is true; however, the findings were reversed soon thereafter. Darren Meade in keeping with his distortion tactics (watch, he will start using this term to describe me soon) is taking a snapshot in time, but not giving the reader the benefit of subsequent events. His propensity to do this should give readers cause to dismiss everything he writes as deceptive.

Subsequent report leading to reversal of child abuse finding.

Nevertheless, the findings were based on the testimony of Tracey Richter and Bert Pitman. Tracey is a three times convicted felon for and Bert is being considered for criminal prosecution for perjury during the murder trial of his mother. This is a matter of public record.
  1. Tracey Richter Perjury Conviction Clay County Iowa
  2. Tracey Richter welfare fraud conviction Douglas County Nebraska (Plea bargain downwards from original 3rd degree criminal impersonation)
  3. Tracey Richter's Conviction for Murder in the first degree Sac County Iowa
  4. Tracey Richter's Harassment charges Pocahontas County Iowa (resulting from foiled murder for hire of me. She escaped conviction of this one)

Tracey was also indicted as a result of an FBI investigation into passport fraud. She successfully obtained a passport using false name and was considered a flight risk.

Link: Tracey Richter's indictment FBI investigation into passport fraud

Tracey was also found to have forged the final the force divorce decree between the two of us, wherein she added a clause giving her permission to get passports for our children without my permission.

Sheriff's report on divorce decree forgery by Tracey Richter

Moreover, Judge Duffy, in his (genuine) final divorce decree found as follows:

"Tracey is very deviceful; She usually has a plan or scheme to effect a purpose. The following incidents establish crafty schemes by Tracey:….One week after Michael filed the petition for dissolution of marriage, Tracey filed a petition for relief from domestic abuse….Tracey used this process in an attempt to gain advantage over Michael on the custodial…..Tracey has made attempts to establish that Michael has committed child abuse…In fact,. she conceded that it was not child abuse. Later, Tracey made vigorous attempts to obtain a founded report.

There is no founded child abuse report to support Tracey's theory of child abuse by Michael. The court finds that Tracey has failed to establish that Michael committed child abuse…. The Court also finds that Tracey has failed to establish a history of domestic abuse."

 

"Firearm offences"


Darren wrote:
"Michael Roberts is photographed with one of many handguns he purchased in violation of Court Orders after his conviction of Spousal and Child Abuse. The photograph is with a sniper rifle. Police reports allege he threatened to kill a Chicago detective with a sniper rifle and that he (Roberts) is a very good shot. Roberts is on an audio recording with another young man he mentors discussing having this young man kill someone to ‘protect the inner sanctum’ or Roberts new business enterprise with a .50 caliber hollow-point bullet which just explodes his brain, the same as used by the rifle in the photo with Roberts above."

Response:
  1. I have never violated a court order (with the exception of being in arrears for child support due to injuries sustained during an attempted murder at Tracey's hand in 2004)
    Approval from Iowa Dept. Justice Crime Victims Compensation Program for medical expenses incurred after attempted murder.
  2. I have never been convicted of spousal OR child abuse. [Link: Proof]
  3. I have never owned, held, touched or fired a 50 caliber weapon.
  4. The photograph of the rifle to which Meade refers was taken in the late 90s, five or six years before my ex-wife temporarily obtained a restraining order prohibiting me from buying firearms. This order was dismissed after it was determined the allegations were unfounded in order to gain an advantage in the child custody issues.
  5. The police report in question was filed by Tracey's younger brother, Detective John B. Richter of the Chicago Police Department. He made this report on October 29, 2011 this was the Saturday immediately following the first week of his sister's murder trial and by this time it had become apparent that things were not going well.
  6. Detective Richter, to the best of my knowledge is currently being investigated by the Chicago Police Department internal affairs, and the civilian oversight organization to which Internal Affairs answers called "City of Chicago Independent Police Review Authority". [Complaint ID : OPS-9432]
  7. Coincidentally, both Darren Meade and Detective John Richter apparently reported that unknown persons had thrown rocks or bricks through their windows at about the same time (I do not have dates). Darren was in California, Richter was in Illinois.
  8. I am not in an audio recording discussing killing someone with a 50 caliber bullet. I was present with an individual who made the statements, and I was the person recording the conversation and who subsequently provided them to Darren Meade and law-enforcement because Darren Meade was the "someone" the person was fantasizing about killing.
Coming Soon: Copy of police report containing the allegations of Tracey Richter's brother Detective John Richter dated October 29, 2011.

VIDEO/Audio snippet of the .50 Caliber monologue.


"Michael bought a house for another woman in Florida in 2004."


RESPONSE: Whereas, Tracey went to Florida first to look at houses, she sent Michael and his stepson and son to Florida a week or two later to look at her short list. He signed a contract on the house they both agreed was best. While Michael was in Florida, Tracey flew to London to be with her lover Tom Buehlmann. I had previously discovered this relationship, I confronted Tom by telephone. He apologized and said he had no idea she was still married and promised that it would not continue. Tracey's relationship with Tom began late December 2003 or very early January 2004. I did not meet the "other woman" referred to by Darren until April 1st, 2004 after I realized that Tracey's affair with Tom was ongoing.


"Michael stole Tracey’s identity"


RESPONSE: Tracey's team is getting good mileage out of this allegation. In 2005 or 2006, I leased a large Dell computer/server through "DFS" which is Dell Financial Services. Unbeknownst to me, the lease had both my name and Tracey's name attached to it from previous purchases while we were still together. Tracey filed a police report for identity theft, she also filed allegations in the civil divorce process. I contacted Dell, they removed her name, end of story.

"Michael found shell casings at murder scene."


Darren wrote: "Michael Robert claimed to have then cleaned the home and located shell casings within an hour of taking possession of the home that were missed by CSI investigators."

RESPONSE: This is just one of many examples of the incompetence of the investigators and earlier prosecutor who let the murder go unpunished for almost 10 years.


"Michael's relationship with Dustin Wehde, Tracey's murder victim."


Darren wrote: "In his mentorship of Dustin, Michael Roberts had Dustin work on creative writing exercises that often were violent in nature."

Response: Says who Darren? Please provide original source documentation, or a witness who has not been convicted of either murder or perjury.

"Crime Scene Photos"


Darren wrote: "The crime scene photos were shown to me personally in 2010 by Michael Roberts." (referring to a document referencing the 'pink notebook' evidence).

Response: I challenge Darren to testify to this under the penalty of perjury.


"Life Insurance on Tracey & Michael's kids"


Darren wrote: "Tracey had a considerable life insurance policy as did the children."

Response: Tracey had taken out $100,000 insurance policies on each of the three children before the murder. She had asked me to co-sign this one night when insurance agent was in our home, I refused because I thought the idea was repulsive. However, I finally consented to a $10,000 funeral policy for each of the kids under protest because she just wouldn't leave me alone. Evidently, the documents subsequently placed before me to sign were in the full amount of $100K as later attested by insurance agent later.

Furthermore, in the year before the murder Tracey had stacked my life insurance policies with at least three, possibly four policies totaling somewhere in the range of 3 to 5 million dollars. I did not know about this until I filed for divorce in 2004 and her first husband, Dr. John Pitman, told me I need to go looking for them. I did, and what I found blew me away. While Tracey was visiting her lover Tom, I received documents in the mail from lifequote.com where she had applied for an additional $1 million in coverage of my life only a few days before she attempted to murder me in March 2004 by drugging and suffocation. This was followed up by an e-mail message after I diverted Tracey's business e-mail address to mine.

Exhibits:
  1. Chase Life Insurance Cancelation
  2. AmerUsLife Insurance Cancelation
  3. USAA Insurance Cancelation
  4. Lifequote Application
  5. Detailed account of Tracey's attempted murder of me in 2004
  6. Approval for criminal compensation for medical expenses associated with head injury from attempted murder.
--- END Authorized Statement ---

 

Additional Resources:


"The Real Darren Meade" by journalist Anthony Roberts (NOTE: he is NO relation & this site has apparently been hijacked from him): Visit Anthony's article

More on Tracey Richter Roberts

Michael Roberts/ Rexxfield

RipOffReportRevolt - Been wrongly smeared on RipOff Report or other websites?  Join this FACEBOOK group


Any of this sound familiar, readers? The smear, the lies, the name calling, the fabricated or pieced together 'evidence', the armchair diagnoses? 

MORE TO FOLLOW




Friday, September 28, 2012

Internet Becoming a Pathway to Violations


by David Linton

Officials say people with restraining orders against them are using social networking to contact victims and victim's friends & families.


(Massachusetts, USA) A man embroiled in a domestic dispute with his estranged wife contacted her friends in an effort to see their kids, which was prohibited by a restraining order.

"She should let him see their father. She has issues with him. It shouldn't get in the way of the kids. Pass on the love," he allegedly said.

Prosecutors argued that the defendant, 38-year-old George Manchester of Fall River, violated a restraining order by trying to contact his estranged wife through her friends.

Only Manchester, who denies the allegations, did not speak to the friends directly or send them a letter.

Prosecutors say Manchester, who police say has a history of domestic violence and violating restraining orders, reached out through cyberspace on the social networking website Facebook. "Your honor, it looks like he's coming up with more creative ways to violate the restraining order without getting caught," Assistant District Attorney Kelly Costa argued last month during a bail hearing for Manchester in Attleboro District Court.

The use of social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace by domestic abuse defendants prohibited from contacting their victims is becoming more common, authorities say, as the use of the websites has proliferated in society.

North Attleboro police Detective Michael Elliott says he's investigated numerous cases in which restraining orders were violated by people using social networking websites, as well as e-mail and cellphone texting.

"Just because it's not in person doesn't mean it's not a violation," said Elliott, who has investigated numerous cybercrimes. "Violations using the phone and violations over the Internet are very similar."

Officials at New Hope, a non-profit women's shelter and domestic abuse support agency, say technology is a good way to keep in touch with family and friends, but it also has been used to torment domestic abuse victims.

"Many of New Hope's clients have in some form or at some point had technology used against them by their abuser, and perpetrators of violence are becoming increasingly 'tech-savvy' in using various devices to abuse or locate their victims," New Hope spokeswoman Laura Hennessey Martens said. "It is important for survivors to know that while living in an abusive home or even after leaving their abuser, social media, cell phones and other technologies can continue to be used against them and may jeopardize their safety," Martens said.

In Bristol County, there have been cases in all four district courts in which defendants have violated restraining orders through text messaging or social networking sites.

In one New Bedford case, a man is alleged to have taken his ex-girlfriend's cell phone and texted her friends, threatening to kill her, said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter.

"We've had defendants threaten to kill victims and burn their houses down. It seems that in the past few years it is an ever more popular way for defendants to violate restraining orders," Miliote said.

There are no local statistics to show the number of incidents, Miliote said, but prosecutors in the domestic violence unit have been successfully prosecuting more and more defendants for violating restraining orders through cyberspace.

"It's not unusual," Miliote said.

A U.S. Justice Department survey released last year noted that 1 in 4 stalking victims reported some form of cyberstalking by e-mail or instant messaging - and that was based on information gathered in 2006.

With the increased popularity of social networking and smartphones within the past few years, authorities say instances of cyberstalking or prohibited contact due to a restraining order is almost certainly higher.

Social networking, whether by e-mail or websites, is becoming more popular among all age groups, with 86 percent of those 18 to 26 using social networking sites, up from 16 percent in 2005, according to a survey released last month by the Pew Research Center.

Users 30 to 49 shot up from 12 percent in 2005 to 61 percent in May 2010.

The fastest growth occurred in the 50 to 64 age group, with the figures more than doubling in one year. Last year, 22 percent said they used social networking sites, jumping to 47 percent in May 2010, according to the Pew survey.

Martens says domestic violence victims can protect themselves.

While each domestic violence survivor's situation is unique and may require different strategies to "stay ahead" of his or her abuser, some basic technology safety tips include:

If using a computer that your abuser might have access to, be sure to clear your browser. However, computer use can still be monitored and Internet use is impossible to completely clear.

It is recommended that survivors instead use a computer that the abuser does not have access to.

Keep personal or identifying information offline. Online photos and postings can be used to track victims' whereabouts. This includes photos and postings by family and friends of a survivor.

Keep in mind that, even when selecting privacy settings at the highest level of privacy, there is still no guarantee that the information will be or will remain private.

Keep in mind that cell phones, car safety tracking systems and other technologies have GPS tracking devices that can be used by abusers to locate their victims.

More information is available on New Hope's website http://www.new-hope.org

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cyberstalking is Bad for Your Health




by Neal Colgrass
What with Facebook, Flickr, and other fine venues for stalking "exes," breakups aren't nearly as final as they once were. But for your own good, please stop following them around cyberspace. "Conventional wisdom, and even science, has it that cutting off contact with an ex makes for a smoother recovery," writes Tracy Clark-Flory at Salon. And she knows the struggle all too well, having tracked an ex from Flickr to Twitter until she realized that the ring on his finger wasn't "merely an engagement ring." 

Not only was he already married, but Clark-Flory had to see a live-tweeted photo of him standing in the aisle. "It’s one thing to realize that the man you once wanted to marry" has moved on, she writes, "and another to be a virtual witness to it." Clark-Flory digs up studies to make her case, like one that finds "Facebook stalking ... may obstruct the process of healing" and another in which 30% of college students admit to posting status updates "to taunt or hurt" an ex. 

The only problem: "It’s never been easier to secretly keep tabs on exes," writes Clark-Flory, "and it’s never been harder not to."

SOURCE

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Had an Emotional Affair


How "innocent" chats and e-mails nearly destroyed my marriage

by David Bauer

"Here." With tears streaming down her face, Dawn,* my wife of five years, stormed into my office at work and tossed a list on my desk. "I need you to stop at the grocery store on your way home. I have to pick up the kids." "What's wrong?" I approached her, but she waved me away. "You never talk to me, and you expect me to tell you what's wrong? Forget it!" "Dawn, please. Sit down and tell me why you're so upset." "Not here. Later." She left before I could argue further. I didn't try to stop her. Dawn knew. Somehow she'd discovered the secret I'd concealed for months. I'd fallen in love with another woman. Dawn and I had been high school sweethearts. I couldn't wait to marry her. But our marriage soon began to unravel. Close ties to her family, who lived nearby, constantly interfered with our time as a couple. Dawn didn't see the need to separate from her parents and put me first. She ran to them when we had a disagreement. If we went out for dinner and a movie, she invited them along.

Over time, I began to feel like a child waiting to join a kickball team, raising my hand and shouting, "Pick me! Pick me!" Jealousy grew, poisoning our marriage. In a heated argument one night, I demanded, "If I asked you to choose between me and your parents, whom would you choose?" Without speaking she answered my question. Four years into our marriage, Dawn and I had drifted apart. I'd grown weary of being rejected, emotionally and sexually. Her excuses for refusing my sexual advances ranged from fatigue to lack of interest. One night in bed, I massaged her back and legs, knowing it was a turn on to her. She responded with a perfunctory kiss on the lips. "Not tonight, David. Maybe tomorrow." She rolled over and went to sleep, leaving me dejected and hurt. Before long we were having sex only once every couple months. I envied my married friends who described frequent, healthy sexual relationships. As my resentment grew, I began to wonder what I'd ever loved about Dawn.
A change of scene
Needing a change, I enrolled in a local community college. I met Stephanie my first semester. We attended several classes together. I learned her father worked for the same company I did, and Stephanie and I both had a child the same age. She was stuck in an unsatisfying relationship with her live-in boyfriend; I was disillusioned in my marriage. We connected instantly, sharing long conversations over lunch, in-between classes, and sometimes even during class. Second semester, Stephanie and I didn't have any classes together. Deprived of the opportunity to see and talk with each other, we started to chat over the Internet. I also created a new e-mail account strictly for our correspondence. Our instant messaging began as a way to communicate during class, similar to the way I'd passed notes as a kid.

But the sessions grew more frequent, and soon I was chatting while at my job and late at night while doing homework. Our physical separation provided a false sense of security when our conversations and e-mails turned gradually more flirtatious.
Stephanie stood out from other women I knew. She was free spirited-intelligent, funny, and carefree. But most important, she was attentive and non-judgmental. As our friendship grew, so did my romantic feelings. Inside, though, I was conflicted. Though I knew I was breaking my vows, I felt Dawn's rejection justified my feelings for Stephanie. I often cried out to God through journaling and poetry. I knew he'd forgive me if I repented. But at the same time, I blamed God for allowing my marriage to fall apart. And frankly, I wasn't ready to repent.

The great divide
Sensing the growing chasm between us, Dawn sought ways to spend more time together, clearing her calendar of events planned weeks in advance. She made certain we ate supper together and cooked my favorite foods. I stubbornly resisted her efforts. "How was your day?" she'd ask when I came home from work. "Fine," I'd reply, then ignore her. Although I knew I should work on my marriage, I was still angry about Dawn's loyalty to her parents and her sexual rejection of me. I wanted to hurt her as badly as she'd hurt me. Months earlier I'd planned a romantic, 5th-anniversary trip to Cancun. As my relationship with Stephanie intensified, so did my desire to get out of the trip. One week before we were to leave, Dawn and I had a heated argument. "We may as well cancel our trip to Cancun," I said. "I don't want to waste the time or money when all we do is fight."

Shocked, Dawn began to sob.
I cancelled our reservations the next day. Four weeks passed. One day at work an instant message from Stephanie popped onto my screen. "I need to tell you something, but I don't know how." Replying back, I urged, "You can share anything with me." "It's really personal and I don't want to look foolish." "Okay," I said, "if it makes you feel better, send me an e-mail." Sure she was going to confide her feelings toward me, I logged onto my e-mail account. I read her message, savoring every word. "The last several weeks have been great," she wrote. "I know you're married, which makes this a lot harder." My heart pounded in my chest as I read on. "I've realized I have feelings for you. I often imagine what it would be like to kiss you." Elated, I replied back, "Me too." For the first time in months, I felt needed and wanted. I looked forward with anticipation to kissing Stephanie. A few weeks later, at a remote picnic spot, we shared our first kiss. My heart said I'd found paradise; my head screamed, What are you doing? Although we never progressed past kissing, each time we kissed the pull to go further strengthened.

As I continued to withdraw from Dawn, she became angry. "You touch that laptop more than you touch me," she complained.
"Welcome to my world," I muttered, remembering her sexual rejections. "David, I've tried. Won't you ever forgive me?" "You've pushed me away for years. It's too late to fix things." I thought about Stephanie, how she gave me the attention I craved. She soothed my wounded ego with compliments and love notes, filling a void in my heart. I began to believe she was my soul mate. I was in love.

Walking a tightrope
Late one night I was instant messaging Stephanie, when Dawn sat up in bed.
"What are you working on?" "Homework," I replied. A message from Stephanie popped up, and I quickly minimized it. "What was that?" Dawn asked. Adrenaline rushed through my body. "An Internet advertisement." I knew my sneaking around was wrong. I buried myself in work and school, no longer wanting to be home. Fearing my relationship with Stephanie would be discovered, I limited my contact with family and church friends. I knew I should end things between us, but I wasn't strong enough. Six weeks had passed since Stephanie and I admitted our feelings for each other. One night after skipping class to be with her, I returned home to receive a call from Alex, a family friend. He asked if I'd meet with him. "I've seen changes in you," Alex told me when we got together. "Your priorities have shifted. You're investing far more time in school and your friends there than in your wife and son." He proceeded to share how, as a young husband and father of three, he'd cheated on his wife with a female college instructor. "David, I can see my past living out in you." For some reason I confessed my relationship with Stephanie, and that I was ready to leave Dawn and our son, Drew, for her. Alex listened patiently, making one request—that I allow him to arrange for Dawn and me to meet with a marriage counselor. I promised I'd think about it.

Secrets revealed
The next day, Dawn confronted me in my office. Alex must have told Dawn about Stephanie.
I stewed as I drove home from work that night, bracing myself for the confrontation to come. How dare Alex tell Dawn! When I arrived home Dawn's face was puffy and tear-stained as she prepared supper. After an uncomfortably silent dinner, I tucked Drew into bed. Walking downstairs, I found Dawn sitting on the couch, waiting. I sat on the floor and said, "Is there anything you want to ask me?" "Who is she?" Dawn asked. "How long has this been going on?" I told her Stephanie's name and that we'd been involved for six or seven weeks. "Do you love her?" "I think so," I admitted. "I'm not sure I can end the relationship. How did you find out?" Dawn started to cry. "Alex told Mom and Dad. When I stopped by their house this afternoon, Mom was crying. They didn't want to tell me what was wrong, but I guessed." It figures, I thought angrily. Once again Dawn's parents had come between us. I felt I was on trial as I confessed everything—that I'd become emotionally involved with Stephanie through e-mails and instant messaging, and that the affair was on the verge of becoming sexual. I hoped Dawn would give up on us. Since I didn't have the courage to end our marriage, I wanted her to do it.

When I revealed that Stephanie's mother attended the same woman's group as Dawn, her control snapped. "What?" she yelled. "It's her?" Eyes flashing with anger, she ran to the basement. Grabbing a plastic baseball bat, she beat it against the stacks of Rubbermaid containers and cardboard boxes.
"You're nothing but a liar!" she wailed loud enough for me to hear her upstairs. "How could you betray me like this?" I stood in the kitchen, torn between anger and shame. You drove me to it, I thought bitterly. You chose your parents over me, so I chose Stephanie over you. Dawn finally came upstairs, red-eyed and exhausted. "What are you going to do?" she asked. "I don't know." "I'm willing to work through this," she said. "But it's your decision. Either you end your relationship with Stephanie, or it's the end of our marriage."

The next five days were the darkest I've ever experienced. My secret was out. Our family and church friends knew what I'd done. Inside me, a spiritual battle raged. I replayed the notes, the cards, the conversations, and the physical attraction that drew me to Stephanie. Though ashamed, I didn't want the fantasy to end.
A few days later I received a letter from a respected friend. I wept as I read her loving admonishment. "I fear that if you turn your back on Dawn and Drew, you'll forever be haunted by deep regrets and wounds that will never heal completely. Yes, God forgives, but we must bear the 'blisters of the heart.'" I wept most of that night. Dawn stayed with me, comforting me. The next day I knew what I had to do. I e-mailed Stephanie that I'd decided to work out things with Dawn and was ending the relationship. "Please don't contact me anymore," was my final statement. Stephanie responded angrily. "I wish you'd made that decision earlier so I didn't end up hurting people I care for!" Two days later Dawn and I entered marital counseling. As we talked, I was able to make Dawn understand how deeply she'd hurt me. "I felt as if you loved your parents more than me," I confessed. "I'm so tired of feeling rejected. So I decided it was less painful if I pulled away from you." "I'm sorry I made you feel that way," she replied. "I'm completely committed to fixing our marriage, whatever the cost." As we worked to bridge the distance between us, physical love became a catalyst for our healing. "I need to be close to you," Dawn told me. "I feel as if we're becoming one again."
While it took just weeks for my heart to stray, restoring our marriage took much longer. At times I questioned if staying with Dawn had been the right decision. When we fought, I'd recall the good times Stephanie and I had shared, and I was tempted to pick up the phone or e-mail her. Dawn had doubts as well. "I still don't trust you 100 percent," she confessed nearly two years later. "Sometimes when we fight I wonder if you're still sneaking around." More than five years have passed. Rather than involving her parents in our disputes, Dawn now seeks counsel from two women. They help her see when she's right, when she's wrong, and how to grow in her role as a wife. Though my job requires that I correspond with colleagues, male and female, through e-mail and instant messaging, I limit my conversations to work-related topics. If a conversation drifts to a personal tone, I end it. I also meet with six other men to share, study, and pray on Sunday mornings. As Dawn and I continue to rebuild trust, we're committed to being honest about our feelings and thoughts and with each other.

* names have been changed David Bauer is a pseudonym for an author living in Minnesota.

(EOPC DOES NOT AGREE with always cutting off the 'other woman' who was truly a pawn in all this - 'David' could have taken a break from Stephanie, and worked to reframe their friendship after working on his marriage. Though some therapists say cut it off - it makes life MUCH TOO EASY for the cyberpath & traumatizes the victims (often the spouse/ partner AND the other woman). We don't agree.

Considering he & Stephanie never physically consummated things - and that Stephanie was very supportive to him - it also ends what could be a decent friendship. The current advice of just 'cutting it off' is turning out to be more harm than help psychologically to victims. And far too easy for the predator. Especially for the other 'person' who is often a pawn or target. 'David' could have introduced the 2 women eventually if he wanted - and worked on his marriage while making appropriate amends to Stephanie. Stephanie got hurt and used, and now this writer is talking about how great it all was for him to save his marriage. While saving the marriage was a good thing, where does that leave the 3rd person? Something's not right.... Our 10 cents - EOPC)


SOME OF OUR 'EMOTIONAL AFFAIRS'
Click and scroll through all the posts to read everything on each of these: - Doug Beckstead - Dan Jacoby - Keith Clive - Brad Dorsky; Jeff Dunetz aka YidwithLid - Steven Langley Guy

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

BEWARE: THE ROMANTIC PREDATOR!


The Don Juan motif has fascinated artists and thinkers for centuries. As far back as the 17th Century, Tirso de Molina created the archetype of the hero as proto-trickster, promiscuous manipulator, sublime lecher. Mozart's Don Giovanni is an elaboration on the theme, an opera that overwhelms the senses with the sheer vitality of an entity who can only be described as a raw force of nature. Moliere and Lord Byron, among others, bring him to life. Bernard Shaw, in an interlude in his play, Man and Superman, consigns him to an honorable place in Hell. In the modern era, cartoonist Jules Pfeiffer wrote the successful play, Harry, The Rat With Women, depicting the sad/funny shenanigans of an otherwise ordinary guy using women for recreational sex. The film Alfie, dating from the same period, enumerates the many "conquests" of a Cockney truck driver. The seducer remains the hero of song and saga, at least of the pop culture media.

The sexual predator, that dark and mysterious figure, the "stranger", unpredictable, hinting at danger, tinged with violence... what is there that so attracts women to him? Truly, there seems something almost magical about those few men who seem able to mesmerize women at will. What secret do they possess that gives them this power, this intensity, this animal magnetism?

Users and manipulators is the key phrase. Such men have learned to spot and sniff out vulnerable women, the "wounded birds", the ones most susceptible to their particular brand of sorcery. They have mastered the art of "pushing the emotional buttons" of their fellow humans, exploiting the feelings and weaknesses of hurt people (and is not most everyone hurt?), playing women like a musical instrument. In their single-minded pursuit of pleasure, of self-gratification, they leave behind them a string of victims. These are haters of women, exploiters of human weakness, parasites, sociopaths*. (CYBERPATHS)

These . . . fancy-grade hit-and-run drivers leave numerous
victims in their wake . . .
Roger Shattuck, Forbidden Knowledge


This little deviation into the dark alleys of the criminal mind and the underside of human nature yields insight into the sad emptiness of the career seducer. There is little to envy in these creatures. They lead meaningless lives, and each successive "conquest" does nothing to fill the screaming, hungry void within. There is little to admire, considering the pain and wreckage they leave behind.


What a chimera, then, is man! What a novelty, what a monster, what a chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a prodigy! A judge of all things, feeble worm of the earth, depositary of the truth, cloaca of uncertainty and error, the glory and the shame of the universe.
Blaise Pascal: Thoughts, chap. x.

Behold the man, the man of action, the ruthless hero of myth and saga, society's darling. Here is this rugged doer of deeds, the rough-and-ready "go getter", the one who grabs what he wants without pausing to think... the aggressive stranger, the cowboy, the soldier, the gangster. Contemptuously, he shoves past that quiet guy in the corner, the shy one, the one ridiculed by family and friends as a "wimp", a "mouse", a victim, as perhaps something less than a man.

According to the latest sociological dogma, females are genetically wired to be attracted to "alpha" males, those who are most assertive and aggressive. This seems all too true of some women. Aggressive men seem to get women, to attract women, many women, because of their semblance of strength, the swagger of the domineering male. Yet, what type of women are these? Fragile, unsure of themselves, swayed by instinct, emotionally damaged, running on autopilot . . .

Only a nuance, a subtle shade of difference separates aggressiveness from its less respectable cousin, aggression, the use of force to gain one's ends. With this in mind, understand aggressiveness as a sign of immaturity, of fear . . . of weakness, of blind stupidity. It is the crudest mode of social interaction, the blunt instrument, the bludgeon.

It is the "bull in a china shop" syndrome, a behavior pattern that gets its practitioners typed as boors, thugs, and worse. There is an immediacy about them, a brutal spontaneity, for they recognize no tomorrow. Unfeeling, unbridled, unburdened by remorse, they loot, despoil, and ruin. Behind them, they leave poisoned relationships, broken trust, betrayal, and despair.

from: HOW TO MEET WOMEN

Monday, September 24, 2012

ARE YOU A CYBERBULLY? - TAKE THE QUIZ

Often our cyberpaths, once found out and/or exposed turn into a cyberbully to silence their victims. We have had threats of lawsuits against victims. (No predator really wants their lies or cover-up exposed!)

Other predators have threatened their victims' families, children, friends, jobs, reputations. Two even started hate sites about their victims, blaming them for everything. Both were even so childish as to think she was US!! (They only see their exposes and not the slew of the rest of them!!)

Our very first exposed predator, Charles 'Ed' Hicks still claims its "all false" and is back online doing the same all over again as well as being WANTED for jumping probation! In fact he tells new potential victims he's suing his ex-wives, Very Bad Men, Dr. Phil and the court system in Virginia for their supposedly false accusations and writing a 'tell-all' book with the 'truth!' LOL. Don't hold your breath, readers.

Of course there's the old "SHE'S JUST A SCORNED WOMAN" or "HE'S A JILTED LOVER" excuses in cyber affairs. Real life affairs use them too when the predator wants to play victim and make everyone feel sorry for him - including new targets. It's a joke. (Our advice? The minute you hear that 'scorned woman' defense? Make it your business to contact this 'scorned woman' or 'jilted man'! Someone with no secrets or destructive agenda wouldn't care if you spoke to their ex! Same applies to women predators.)

So let's find out - did your online love or cyber-friend turn into a cyberbully? Or were they a cyberbully all along?
from: DEATH BY 1000 PAPERCUTS:

Cyber-harassment, cyber-stalking, cyber-group bully, cyber-Gossip: all of these categories fall under the tactics of a cyber-bully.

Here is a quiz, take it and see it you’re a cyber-bully or if you've ever pulled some other cyber-bullying tactics during your time on-line.

Have you ever done this?

1.Signed on with someone else’s nic and password to get information.
While this does not seem like cyber-bullying if this information was to be used for ill-will, then, yes, it is cyber-bullying.

2. Sent an email or online greeting card from someone else’s account.
Again, some may claim that this is not cyber-bullying, if the email or online greeting is used to stalk or harass someone, then it falls under cyber-bullying.

3. Forwarded a private IM or email without permission.
This could be construed as a “grey” area. After all, it’s merely passing on a private email or IM and some would argue as fairly innocuous.

It boils down to intent.

Was the private conversation/email sent to someone or others with the intent to spread gossip or do harm? While most likely the victim may never know their communication has been forwarded to others, this is still harmful to that person. This is not direct cyber-bullying, more like back-stabbing cyber-bullying tactics.

4. Hacked into someone’s PC, website or blog
Not only is this cyber-bullying but also cyber-stalking and illegal. A 33-yr-old man in Florida was just sentenced to prison for 110 years after being convicted of hacking into MySpace teenaged girl’s PC’s. He threatened to harm to them or their families if they didn’t send him lewd photos.

5. Sent a virus or Trojan Horse?
This is malicious behavior with intent to do harm.

6. Posted rude, nasty or vicious (miscontrued) comments about someone online
Back to intent. Some blogs or forums can get heated and contentious but if someone’s intent is to solely post rude, nasty or vicious comments about another poster then this is cyber-bullying and cyber-gossiping.

7. Teased or frightened someone during IM chats
Teasing that goes over the line, that is meant to chip away someone’s self-esteem. The victim cries foul, the perpetrator claims “teasing.” Boo! (Not that kind of fright) Frightening someone can mean making threats to do harm.

8. Joined in a clique on a blog, website or chatroom that enjoyed driving other posters offsite
Not often talked about are the “community” blogs or chatrooms where “like-minded” posters form cliques. Part of their activities are to single out other posters for the sole purpose of driving the target off the site. This is often done in the guise of “for the good of the blog or chatroom.”

9. Accused someone of a crime online without proof
The person who is unfairly accused of committing a crime online usually has nowhere to turn. The accusers are for the most part, anonymous, the “accusation” gets spread without proof.

10. Followed someone across the Web
Kept track of other online posters, following them from blog to blog, chatroom to chatroom, site to stie. This is a form of soft-core Cyber-stalking. Not the same as showing up at their door but enough to creep anyone out. (Cyberpaths do this to see if any of their victims are "talking about them" to anyone else and then raging on as "being the victim" themselves!)

(many of our victims feel that they need to find out if their cyberpath is "doing it again" or "harming anyone else." EOPC does NOT consider that cyberstalking but accountability as well as compulsory in order to stop these predators from throwing one life away to start destroying another)

Did you answer "yes" to any of these?

Only you know the answer to that question. If you did, maybe it was a one-time occurrence. Only you know the answer to that one, too.

If you were guilty of any of these actions, you should think about changing your behavior.

Unless you want to be a cyber-bully.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

ONLINE DATING CAN BE A POOR WAY TO FIND LOVE



 by Key Sun, Ph.D.

Some people believe that recent research on online dating/matching sheds a new light on understanding attraction, love, and romantic relationships. I argue that, however, although the internet has helped few find romantic relationships and marriages, the research has overlooked various defects and problems associated with this type of "contact." I will examine a couple of them.

The research findings can be summarized as followings:

1. Online daters tend to fill in the information gaps with positive qualities in a potential partner; on the other hand, everyone wants to make the self appear as attractive as possible to potential dates by exaggerating the self desirable traits.

2. There are gender differences in both preference and messaging behavior on online dating sites. Women weigh income more than physical characteristics, and men sought physical attractiveness and offered status-related information more than women.

3. The service users preferred similarity on a variety of (mainly demographic) categories (including child preferences, education, and physical features like height, age, race, religion, political views, and smoking).

It is accurate to say that the research findings showed some behavior and attitudes of the online daters who joined the internet community with different motivations, expectations and backgrounds, but it is inaccurate to assume the behavior and attitudes reflect real interpersonal attractions. This is because the online dating/matching (as provided by the commercial websites) lacks the basic ingredients for developing real love. The most evident problem involves its use of several categories (plus a few photos) for the daters to predict and decide the effectiveness and success of their further interactions with one another. This type of artificial "contact" contradicts the process of meaningful interpersonal interactions (to be explained), which generates love and attraction.

To explain the problem, I need to first elucidate the ingredients for love and the meaningful interactions.

The basic ingredients for love
As demonstrated by studies on interpersonal attraction, creating and maintaining love involves validating communications between the partners on a variety of issues, including understanding and concern for the partner's personal and emotional needs, developing companionship, physical attractiveness, cultivating and nurturing physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well beings, respecting, supporting, forgiving, accepting and encouraging, expressions of appreciation and affection: sexual pleasure and fidelity, commitment, shared activities, as well as the absence of controlling, defensiveness, contempt, stonewalling, and blaming, among other factors.

To accomplish the above tasks, the partners need to engage in the meaningful interactions (face-to-face interactions, including both verbal and nonverbal communications), which allow one person to give to and receive from the other. (Although online daters may be able to exchange messages after they pass each other's initial screening on the basis of evaluating the category-based information, the process is the opposite of the interaction-based attraction). The meaningful interactions depend on two factors: (1) the right opportunities (the right time, place, persons, and further communications) and, (2) the right mind (absence of biases about the self and others).

The right opportunities are significant. Although psychological research on attraction has identified several variables, such as disclosure reciprocity (revealing intimate aspects of oneself to others), mutual eye gazing, mutual reward, similarity and physical attractiveness, these variables are worthless unless people who possess the attributes and tendencies have the opportunities to implement them to the targets of attraction.

On the other hand, the right mind is more important factor. Why have some individuals who have encountered good opportunities of meeting their ideal mates lost the chances to develop the desired relationships? The answer is that mostly they have the dysfunctional mind, with the emotional baggage of fear, anxiety or other mental conflicts and past hurts in interpersonal situations. They fear experiencing invalidation from the target of attraction because they use superficial categories to define the self and others as well as to predict the effectiveness of their possible relationships, ignoring the affection messages from the real people who are attracted them. All categories are just the maps or substitutes of social reality, not the reality itself. When people use categories to predict an interaction (but not pay attention to the other's real communications, they will produce two outcomes:
a) avoiding love from right individuals, and,
b) approaching the wrong person(s).


This kind of distorted cognitions can only be rectified through the regular and meaningful interactions, which help individuals find out that they are worthy others' love and appreciation.

The problems with online dating
It is clear that online dating has at least two problems. First, it is an opposite of face-to -face interaction. Second, it does not help heal the emotional pains of some online daters. Online dating is a category-based, rather than an interaction-based process. In the category-based process, one uses some concepts to predict both possibilities of acceptance and rejection by the others. It is an artificial type because both rejection and acceptance by the daters are not about the rejection and acceptance of real persons, but of the imagined or perceived attributes of their categories.

People never fall in love with categories (even eHarmony's use of personality traits as the basis of matching does not represent real diverse human experiences and characteristics), because only real interpersonal process can create the feeling of love. Love is created and maintained by the process of meaningful communications (including validating accurate perceptions and invalidating inaccurate perceptions of interpersonal reality). Online dating cannot do so. Additionally, love is highly individualistically based. One loves another person because the Mr. Right or Ms. Right is unique individual in one's eyes.

I make a distinction between online communications and online dating/matching. New computer technology has greatly expanded people's potential and freedom to communicate with one another, some of which may generate love and romantic relationships, but online dating/matching, at least in its current format, has restricted the freedom.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cyberpaths Cause PTSD - Sometimes for Years... or Life

by Kimberly Tsao

It's an ordinary day. You step into a bookstore and start to browse through the shelves. Next thing you know, the feeling of being followed isn't something just in movies anymore - it's real. It's now.

A tall, lanky man weaves in and out of the same aisles you do. Then, suddenly, he's not behind you anymore. Coincidence, you think.

Huge mistake.

You turn to get a closer look at the book titles, and he's right there - peering at you from the other side of the bookshelf. His eyes pierce yours in the space between the top of several books and the shelf above them.


You look away for a second, and your eyes flicker to the children's book, "The Rainbow Fish," an illustration that will be burned in your mind forever, an image that you will flashback to and allow to fester in your mind in the years to follow.

Seventy percent of stalking victims fall prey to post-traumatic stress disorder, which can manifest itself into depression, sleep problems. anxiety, behavior problems, inability to cope with everyday life, heart problems, autoimmune problems and more, according to a 1998 New York Times article. Often victims live with PTSD issues, irrational thinking, panic attacks and seemingly odd behavior for years.

One California woman was stalked for 31 years before the police made an arrest, according to the same New York Times article. That's more than 11,000 days of being stalked, of feeling helpless and afraid.

Stalking only became a crime in 1990, according to the same article. One can't help but wonder, what about the centuries and centuries of victims before that?

Fifty percent of stalking cases involve violent threats. The stalkers who carry out their threats have been known to hurt their victims' pets or vandalize their victims' properties. As a result, some victims are forced to move, find new jobs and change their identities. In extreme cases, the stalker kills the victim.

Unfortunately, the Internet has placed stalking in a whole new arena. Stalkers don't need to constantly dial the victims' phone numbers or drive over to the victims' homes anymore. Cyberstalkers can haunt people from other states and countries.
In a 2002 Christian Science Monitor article, the president of SafetyEd, a group for stalking victims, was quoted as saying, "The majority of police departments, district attorneys and attorneys do not understand (cyberstalking), and the laws do not really protect you from this type of problem."

But most cyberstalkers usually stop after one visit by the local authorities, according to the same article.
If only all police forces would make that visit.
Even if the police and private investigators were vigilant, there is no profile for your everyday stalker. Stalkers can be psychotic, have a personality disorder (narcissism or psychopathy) that is almost impossible to detect, or both, according to the New York Times article. They may also be alcoholics or drug addicts.

Some people turn into stalkers because they've suffered abuse or abandonment, according to the same article. Other times, the trigger is "a recent loss."
But none of them are legitimate excuses. Everyone who is grieving or abusing drugs doesn't necessarily become a stalker.

A stalkers register was shut down in 2000, according to a 2005 BBC News article. It would have been akin to a sex offender register. The reasons for scrapping the plan?
"Practical issues and existing monitoring safeguards," according to the same BBC News article. What does that even mean? What could be more practical than keeping tabs on potentially dangerous stalkers? And what "existing safeguards"?

The law and ALL those who enforce it need to catch up. Restraining orders, when it comes down to it, are pieces of paper. They don't do much. Almost 25% percent of the time, the stalkers remain undeterred, according to a 2007 ABC News article.


One million women and 400,000 men have been the victims of stalking, and one in 20 women will be stalked in her lifetime, according to the New York Times article.

To the victims: Persevere.

To the law enforcement (including local police, FBI, private investigators and IC3): Protect and serve. Start taking victims seriously!

To the stalkers (and harassers): Get a life.


ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Friday, September 21, 2012

CYBERWORLD: ASSUME ONE PERSON IS A PREDATOR

by Pat Gaudette
In the virtual world, assume that at least one person in a chat room or a forum is a predator and act accordingly.

Don't post personal details in an open forum; don't assume that a private, religious or parenting, etc. forum is any safer. On the Internet, there is no 100% safe place.

Don't email personal details to strangers no matter how understanding and solicitous they may appear.

Don't give out personal details when you're using chat or Instant Message programs even if the other person seems to give these details to you. They may have given you false information in an attempt to build up your trust.

Even if you feel you can trust the person you've been chatting or emailing, don't give out your address, phone number, or last name. With internet searches, someone with even one personal detail can probably find out where you live and more.

If you're planning to meet someone you've met online, make your first meeting in a fairly busy public place and take a friend along.

If you don't want to take someone with you, at least give them details of who you're meeting, where you're meeting, and when you'll be back to work or home.

No matter how the sparks fly at that first meeting, don't invite him or her back to your place.

No matter how comfortable you feel at that first meeting, don't take a drive with them or let them drop you off at your home.

Trust your "gut." There is no need to force yourself to like someone. That's exactly the point of meeting face-to-face: to see if the "bond" you feel for this person is real or illusion.

Have you been betrayed by your spouse? Have you come to the Web for comfort and support? Have you trusted in virtual friends and been hurt when they've betrayed you? After being betrayed in real life, why would you think a virtual relationship would be any safer from betrayal? Behind that keyboard, all those many miles away, is a real person, not a perfect person.


Remember Ted Bundy? He was an absolute charmer. I'm not implying that your online friend is another Ted Bundy but until you are absolutely certain he or she isn't, play it smart and safe.

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