The Fake Activist’s Words

From the Calgary Herald, June 20, 2012, a report that there would be no charges filed at Prairie Bible Institute:

Fossen said she was hoping charges would be laid, but if not, that the school would identify perpetrators of sexual abuse and make a point of saying their alleged crimes were wrong.

We realize that a lot of these cases cannot be proved in court. The legal system is never going to try these cases because they’re old, there’s no evidence, we don’t have the DNA, we don’t have witnesses.

So, Linda Fossen believes that even with no evidence, the supposed “perpetrators” should be identified publicly and told that they are wrong. Really? She actually said this? Surely it’s a misquote. Please let it be a misquote.

It’s not.

This is one of my favorites. It made me laugh. I am so very glad that I am not Linda’s standard for truth, since she clearly doesn’t have one.

By the way, they did, in fact, scrub that page within a few hours of my uploading “Victimizing the Dead.” I did the upload at about 6 p.m. and they started scrubbing a bit after midnight. Did one have anything to do with the other? I couldn’t say, but it sure looked like it from here.

Typical Fossen spewing of stuff. She accuses Cathy Harris’s adoptive father of running a FB page when she has no idea about whether or not that might be true. It doesn’t matter to her. She just says it, and therefore it’s so.

Um, no. Just no. The page in question started in early 2012. She doesn’t co-administer it. But, you know, in Fossenland, that doesn’t matter. She just makes shit up.

And here we have it again. The man is guilty, because Linda was “abused” by her father and she therefore knows everything. She is the Decider. I’m not quite sure why she would grant him a trial. What’s the point? She’s already declared the verdict.

And you see, if he doesn’t plead guilty, it’s not because he’s not guilty, but because he’s not “accept[ing] responsibility.”

In the same series of comments, Linda assures us that the facts of the case, which make some people doubt the validity of the charges, just make Linda more certain that he’s guilty. In her bizarre world, the more innocent you appear, the more guilty you actually are. In a YouTube video of her being interviewed on some lame Christian TV show, she stated that “1 out of 3 women will be sexually abused before they turn 20.” Do you realize what she’s saying? She’s saying that a very large percentage of men (it’s mostly men involved here) are child molesters.

I like men. To my knowledge, I have never been acquainted with one who molested children. Linda would have me believe that fully 1/3 of the men I’ve known in my life were, in fact, child molesters. I think not. A far simpler, more plausible explanation is that she’s nuts.

A little addition: Linda’s “explanation” for this is that child molesters generally abuse more than one victim, so really there are only, oh, say, 54 of them in the whole United States. (Don’t flip out. That’s a slight exaggeration.) And that is a typical defense from the “experts” who came up with that “1 out of 3 women” figure.

One in three women experience sexual or physical violence — most likely from their intimate partner. CNN, June, 2013

Note: An “intimate partner” is not part of your life when you are a minor child.

And this page from Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR) cites figures that are all over the map. I’m not sure how anyone can know how many rapes are not reported. I’d love to see the way that sort of study is done. A more honest way to put it is that X percent of assaults are estimated to be unreported.

And here’s one more, from a feminist site. At the end of the piece, there are links to several more sites.

But, what is not factored in here is this: the people citing the “1 in 3 women will be abused as a child” figure are counting those who “recover memories.” Those aren’t verifiable at all. Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of women who “recover memories” of abuse name their father as at least one of their abusers. That’s a whole lot of fathers.

And let’s remember this: Linda Fossen says she was abused by two people: her father and her brother. That’s two. Cathy Harris was supposedly abused by who knows how many. Six? Fifty? And Cathy is not really unusual. Many of the “recovered memory” women, especially those who stay in therapy for a long time, “remember” more and more abusers: in addition to their fathers, they add in grandfathers, brothers, uncles, the next-door neighbor, the postman, their teachers, principals.

So, in addition to the serial molester, we have the serial accusers. I’d love to see some statistics comparing the two groups.

It’s never, ever okay to say “I do not believe that Carl McIntire raped Cathy Harris while Bob Jones Jr. watched.” Oops. It’s not okay. If Cathy Harris asserts that to be true, then, by golly, no matter how absurdly ridiculous it might be, it’s true.

But all the gavel pounding that Linda does is because, well, she’s on a “mission from God.” I think I’ve heard about that before, haven’t I?

Only wasn’t it Beth?

I guess “missions from God” are only valid if Linda approves of them.

 

The Fake Activist

I really like the truth. I gave up a lot for it when I deconverted from Christianity. I don’t take it lightly. And I absolutely despise fakes. Fake profiles, fake identities, fake blogs, fake accusers. This sort of thing is the modern day equivalent of anonymous letters.

JoanneBanner

Despite the fact that Facebook asks its users to use their real names, a whole of people don’t. I understand some of that. Some people are simply concerned about privacy issues. I had one Facebook friend who had two profiles – one for her family and her acquaintances, and a second one with a false name where she could interact for real. In her case, it was her parents that drove her into anonymity. In other cases, it might be an employer. I understand it.

But this isn’t about fake profiles to protect the innocent. This is about fake profiles used to attack other people. It’s hiding in the shadows slinging mud. It’s also a lie. And when asked directly about this, Linda, via her fake profiles, just lied. Over and over again.

MaloneBanne

At one point, I asked her how she could possibly know all about the current “survivor war” when her profile had only been created about three days previously. She replied that her sister was on Facebook and kept her current. It was so lame it made me laugh, but the fact that Linda is inept doesn’t change the fact that she lies.

BeeLies

Linda did a rant on the now-defunct Truth Seeking 2nd Edition page confessing that she was using two fake profiles. Of course, she says that she used them because she wanted to defend her friend Cathy Harris, who is apparently incapable of doing so herself. Here are snippets from that “confession.”

MaloneJoinedFB

It seems that Linda has been “defending” Cathy Harris for quite some time now. Joanne Cummings was a new one, but Bee Malone has been around for quite a while.

So here are some excerpts from Linda’s very long rant.

confession1

Naturally, in Linda’s view, her fake profiles are entirely justified because she, like Superman, is on a mission.

Malone

Bee became so obviously fake that Linda switched to a new fake profile, Joanne.

Cummings

What Joanne and Bee had to say is irrelevant here. The point is that this woman doesn’t mind hiding behind fake profiles and lying incessantly when it suits her. For the record, I have never had a fake profile on Facebook, ever. My current profile is almost entirely public. As Camille K. Lewis put it (while using her fake profile):

PeckShit

BethJamesFake

And while this is clearly not Linda Fossen, it’s an example of yet another fake profile. Nobody seems to think this is in any way odd or wrong or maybe just not a good idea. This person claims to be an attorney, which we now know was a lie,  and sees no irony in doing so while using a totally fake identity to threaten other people with legal action.

NOTE:  Beth James was Cathy Harris.

Have you ever gotten an anonymous letter? I have. It’s not pleasant. What it leads to is suspicion – of everyone. You wonder, who could this fake person be referring to? Who are my friends? Who are the people who are not my friends?

All three of the women I’ve talked about here on this web site know exactly who I am and how to contact me. I have never hidden a single thing I’ve said about any of them. I’m not one bit ashamed of any of it, nor do I regret any of it. But they bash people and talk about them and malign their characters and lie about them, and they do so from the relative safety of anonymity.

It’s not about “setting up a Facebook page.” It’s about honesty. It’s about allowing other people to have opinions that differ from yours without beating them mercilessly until they either run and hide or submit.

In the Footsteps of Franklin

In the early part of the 18th century, Benjamin Franklin was in Philadelphia working as an apprentice to his brother who was a printer. In those days, newspapers were local, generally with a relatively small circulation, and the letters to the editor were avidly devoured by readers, who read them, answered them, copied them and shared them.

You know, something like a status update on Facebook.

Franklin wanted in. He didn’t want to just clean up around the shop and learn to set type. He wanted to write. But he was only 16 years old. You can imagine the delight with which his brother would have received an article Ben wrote and submitted for publication.

So Ben did something that was very common practice in those days.

He created a pen name.

He called himself “Silence Dogood” and wrote a series of letters to the editor (his brother) and caused no end of speculation as to his identity.

No one ever guessed who he was—he finally revealed his identity and his brother was really peeved.

But the important thing is that nobody thought that “Silence Dogood” was really a widow writing these letters. They knew the name was a pen name.

Writers still use pen names from time to time today. Sometimes authors do it, especially if they write more than one genre of book, so that their romance novel fans don’t think that the horror story they wrote is a romance novel.

And people who comment on the internet do it.

Only today, on the net, we call them “screen names.”

It’s a rich tradition. In many ways, social media is very like those small newspapers dotted all over the country—they were driven by readers, not by advertisers. Revenue came from sales of the papers, not by sales of ads. There was a back and forth, a true conversation, even heated arguments  (see Thomas Jefferson and John Adams if you want some glorious insults to fling about) that make a lot of Facebook fights look tame indeed.

Let’s suppose for a second that one of the Disaffected came over here and began commenting using a screen name.

Do you think I care for one second if they do?

I would be delighted to have any of them join the conversation and if they want to use a screen name, that’s fine. What do you think would happen?  Are they going to be able to present cogent reasonable arguments that convince me that I am wrong?  More power to them if they can. That would be great and I would readily admit the error and correct it (I already did this before, so it’s nothing new.)

Brenda Bough was not a screen name. Brenda Bough was a fake identity. The intent was not to engage in a conversation without revealing that you’re a 16-year-old boy. The intent was to spy, to gain access to remarks, conversations, photos, and information that was not intended to be shared publicly.

I know who most of the people are here who are using screen names. There are a few I don’t know, but I don’t care. The rules are the same for everyone, from Linda Fossen to Tita Wyatt and Fly on the Wall.

Those who choose to use screen names do so for a reason and nobody needs to know what that reason might be. They are following a very highly respected tradition, and I will not invade their privacy.

Maybe, like Ben Franklin, Fly is only 16 years old.

Whores

When Camille uses the word “whores” in this little bit of bravado, she is not insinuating that the people who naively accepted her friend requests are engaged in illicit sexual activity, although I do find it sort of interesting that Camille seems to like using sexually-charged metaphors.

She is referring to her perception that the people she despises will accept anyone uncritically as long as they say the right things.

There is a sense in which she has a slight point. When we were still enmeshed in the Fundy Church From Hell, we were amazed at how much one could get away with if you just attended church more or less regularly, spoke “Christian-speak,” and didn’t say anything overtly critical of the church. Beyond that, it didn’t matter if you were having an affair (as several people did) or wrote anonymous letters to anyone you wanted to criticize safely (as several people did quite regularly), or almost anything that most fundamentalists would view as “immoral.”

So I understand the metaphor she’s using there.

However, there are a few  great big problems with it.

1. Camille has a Ph.D. in rhetoric.  She’s got her doctorate in the use of words. I still don’t know how that happened, because I’ve never run across anyone who claimed to be educated but was  so incapable of communicating well.

2. I know this wasn’t a public message, and she didn’t know it would ever see the light of day (after all, Camille is the one who shines the sunlight all about – vice versa isn’t in her playbook), however, the sheer level of smugness and chortling that she exhibits is. . . well. . .

3. Furthermore, it’s simply not true in this case. These people didn’t accept her friend request because they are willing to believe anything as long as the person says the right words. They accepted her friend requests because she deceived them, purposely.  She set out to do so.

For example, Tamar and Marius Pundys were two of “Brenda’s” friends. There is no question that both of them knew this was a fake profile belonging to Camille.  She got them on her friend list for one reason only: to give the profile credibility.

In addition, the bulk of these folks were added as “friends” fairly early on. There wasn’t a great deal on the page at that point, beyond the stolen pictures, the horrible artwork and a few Jesus loves me comments.

This wasn’t particularly clever. I could do something similar in about fifteen minutes, set up a page, and start flinging about friend requests.  Once you get one or two, you just go through their friend list and send out friend requests (then it shows up as “friends of friends”) and every one you get makes you look more credible.

“All the evangelists took me without thinking.”  She says this like it’s bad, somehow. Evangelists are, at their core, businessmen. Their Facebook pages are advertisements for their business: evangelism.  I bet they accept nearly every friend request they get.  I bet I could send out requests to a bunch of them right now and be relatively successful in doing so.

In addition, when it comes to faculty members, of course they are going to accept a friend request from somebody that they think might be a former student.  Women change their names when they get married.

And finally, some of these folks are just plain old or maybe they aren’t old, but are not exactly internet/social media savvy.  They are not “whores” for being naive and ignorant and inexperienced in the ways of con artists.

4. But most importantly, let’s return to the idea that Camille’s use of the word “whore” is about people who do not use any skepticism or critical thinking skills when making decisions.  It’s about people who will embrace anyone who says the right thing, or who they see as being on the “right side.”

That’s why Camille brags about how “[a]ll the terrible things the real me hates. . . the fake me goes ga-ga over.”

Think about that a little bit. She’s talking about rushing to endorse a person (or a story, or a narrative, or a viewpoint) simply because you agree with it/them. Brenda Bough loves Sarah Palin. You love Sarah Palin. Therefore you love Brenda Bough.

Whores. Selling themselves cheaply without thought.

Embracing a position just because it reflects your own desire or your bias.

A whore.

You know, like publishing a story about a suicide using one single second-hand account that is fifty years old, and not vetting it – because you want the story to be true.

A whore.

Like insisting that people are bad, and making fun of them, just because you interpreted a remark made twenty years ago as some sort of insult – because you want the story to be that way.

A whore.

Like putting up a web page (Storify) with accusations against people in such a way that you think presents your narrative “correctly” while ignoring somebody else’s simply because that person is your friend. [What’s his name, Cathy?]

A whore.

Like interpreting song lyrics in such a way as to promote your preferred narrative without bothering to consider evidence to the contrary.

A whore.

Like interpreting a slip of the tongue from a professor [one who is actually working] to further your own narrative without bothering to consider any other evidence.

A whore.

Like re-framing death to poke at a brand-new widow simply because it advances your pre-conceived story line without regard for any decency or common sense.

A whore.

Like making nonsensical and far-fetched connections where there are none just because you want to promote your preferred viewpoint, without regard for facts.

A whore.

Like using information to blackmail people who disagree with you in order to shut them up.

A whore.

False Dichotomy

When I was in Academy, I first heard Pascal’s Wager, in chapel, presented by Dr. Bob, Sr. I thought it was brilliant, and I thought he invented it.  (Give me a break. I was about 14 at the time.)

For those who don’t know, Pascal’s Wager is  the assertion that it’s better to be a Christian and ultimately be wrong, than to risk rejecting Christ and finding out you’re wrong and going to hell forever.

I was in the throes of deconverting when I found out that Dr. Bob, Sr. didn’t invent it, and that Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) did. And the ink wasn’t dry on the page before it was refuted.

Among the very valid arguments refuting Pascal’s Wager are these:
1. What if “God” is really a trickster god (like the Inuit Raven) and all this is an elaborate hoax?

2. What if “God” is really Allah, and we’re all going to Muslim hell? Or maybe Hindus have it right.

3. What if “God” really does want company with sentient beings, but he is trying to pull out those who think for themselves?  Could it be in that case that I am better off than any Christian because I am a freethinker?

You get the idea.

Another very common false “trichotomy” is C. S. Lewis’ “Liar, Lunatic, or Lord” assertion. Surely we’ve all heard that one:  Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic or he is lord.

The first time I heard that one, I thought it was brilliant too. (I bought into all this crap for way too long, I know. )

However, in all my years in the atheist world, I have never found anyone who believes any one of the three “choices,” including myself. There are a zillion other possibilities.  Maybe Jesus was simply an itinerant rabbi who never said a word attributed to him in the New Testament (a real possibility, by the way).  Or maybe, in another real possibility, he’s entirely fictional.

In both these cases, if you follow the two links, they go to Wikipedia articles about them which while not definitive, certainly provide enough information to start you looking.

When I decided I could no longer stay closeted as an atheist, and needed to come out, I thought that the right thing to do was to tell the pastor of our church about it first. I was the choir director and knew I would be resigning and it simply wasn’t fair to spring that on him without some notice. So I called him and asked if I could see him.  He and his wife came over one Sunday afternoon.

I was very nervous. I was afraid that he’d have way more knowledge than I did and that he’d give me all sorts of very good arguments why I was wrong and it would just be awful and I would look stupid.

He listened to my story, and then he was silent for a few minutes. I waited anxiously. And then he gave it his best shot:

Pascal’s Wager.

That was it. I could hardly believe it. I remember sitting there just dumbfounded. That was the best he could do? I said, “Yes. That’s called ‘Pascal’s Wager.’  Blaise Pascal. 1600’s.”  And then I started listing the reasons why it won’t work, something similar to what I did above.  And he looked kind of befuddled. I knew he didn’t have a clue what I was talking about.

We parted amicably.

But all that isn’t Atheism 101. It’s some background for this:

There is not a single true sentence in that entire paragraph, by the way. A screen name on a blog is not the same thing as a fake identity. I actually know who nearly every screen name is here, so there aren’t any “fakes.”  Dan doesn’t know, but nobody gives a damn about him.

And when I joined the original Survivor’s group, I did not have to be approved. I simply clicked on “join” and I was a member. It was like that up until after the Jack Sparrows incident. That and a few others prompted Nancy and Leah to start approving membership requests, in part because after Camille and Cathy left the group, there was a mysterious increase in the number of fakes who tried to join.

Third, Camille did leave and then tried to come back. By then, they were approving membership requests and didn’t let her back in. Furthermore, being on the outside has never, ever stopped Camille from trying to take over something or destroy it, as we’ve seen clearly.

And Dan, there was no chair. And there was no admission to Marshall Pickens. (Get the name right.) That was the lie that Camille started. Clinging to a lie after it’s been shown to be false is something you seem to do quite a bit.

But the biggy is highlighted. We’ll call it The Dick of Prickdom’s False Dichotomy. He’s saying that Cathy Harris is either:

1. a poor survivor who has been so horribly treated all her life that she would make a fine character in a Dickens novel,

or

2. she is nutty as a fruitcake.

I wonder how Cathy likes that, especially since Cathy knows Cathy is lying about stuff and has been doing so for years.

You see, lying is not a mental illness. I know people who lie all the time. Just lie. About everything you can think of. And they are not mentally ill. They function quite well, have good relationships, earn a living, raise happy children, and really are quite decent people—except that you can’t believe much of their blather.

People lie for all sorts of reasons, but usually they see some personal gain in doing so. Sometimes it’s monetary. More often, I suspect, especially with the types who tell wild stories, it involves emotional gain. They want to be the life of the party. They want to be the center of attention, or to be popular, or to be in control. They want pity.

But they know they are lying.

While lying can be a part of mental illness, it certainly is not necessarily. Mentally ill people are often delusional (meaning that they believe the lies they tell are true), but perfectly sane people lie and do so often and sometimes chronically.

I believe Cathy Harris knows perfectly well that she is lying.  I don’t think for one second that she is mentally ill or deluded in any way. I think she’s a scam artist and Dan Keller is simply one of her victims.

Another thing is that Dan says he’s “fine with either scenario.” So he’s “fine” with Cathy being so mentally ill that she is completely delusional and totally not getting any sort of treatment for said delusional behavior. I find that amazing.  He was really wanting Leah to get treatment for that totally imaginary mental problem that he kept accusing her of having, but he’s “fine” with Cathy going untreated.

He’s really big on calling out people about their supposed mental health issues even when it’s completely fabricated, but “fine” with Cathy Harris being grossly delusional.

He calls that “standing up” for her.

I call it pitiful.