During my younger years, when Nathan was busy being born and being a young child, we were very religious. We attended a church I refer to now as the “Fundy Church From Hell.” It was one of those fairly common, typical fundamentalist Christian churches, complete with a Christian school where Nathan was educated.
When he was a teenager, we had a bit of an epiphany and left the church.
Just prior to that time, and for a while afterwards, we got some anonymous letters. There was no internet in those days, so these came via the US mail. Some were postcards. Some were in envelopes. The two different types made it fairly obvious that they came from two different people.
We later identified one of them as Dave’s boss (elder of the church) by tracing the typewriter he used to write them to his office. Those just poked general jabs at us. He didn’t like it that Dave grew a beard, for example. His wife totally misinterpreted a remark made by toddler Nathan at a baby shower and told her husband who wrote to us about it. Dumb stuff. And he later on did it to other people, including other employees, and ultimately lost his job as a result.
The second person was taunting us just prior to us leaving the church and in the immediate aftermath. You have to understand that leaving the Fundy Church From Hell was just not done. It was tantamount to spitting in the face of Jesus. They did not take it well.
We didn’t make a big scene when we left. We just walked out the door one Sunday and never went back, but it was still seen as a threat of some sort, so somebody retaliated with nasty letters.
I didn’t even see most of those, because Dave intercepted them at the mailbox and destroyed them.
We never knew who sent them.
It has been more than 20 years and we still wonder sometimes. We speculate about it, idly. There is a list of suspects and I think our letter writer is on The List, but we’ll never know for sure. However, occasionally, we wonder. And on that list of suspects are some perfectly innocent people. We just don’t know which ones they are.
That is the nature of anonymity.
It casts suspicion all over the place. You make these mental lists of possible suspects. It affects your relationship with each of those folks. Even when/if you find out who the real culprit is, you’ve already gone through the mental gymnastics of analyzing the character of all the other people on your list and determined that they might have done it, hence their inclusion, and from that point forward, your relationship is tainted.
We didn’t get these for very long. Somebody else left the church and they went after those people instead of us. And there were only a few of them. But that was enough to come up with The List.
I hate anonymity.
That experience is the reason that I have no fake Facebook profiles. I’ve never made a sock puppet. I’ve gone into the very valid reasons why my husband was a little concerned when this blog went up.
Nicole dismisses that with this.
I haven’t ever accused him of any such thing. What I said was that my husband was concerned because it’s a fact that Joe Naugler has a criminal record and served jail time for what Kentucky calls “menacing.” Nicole might think that means nothing, but to my husband, it means plenty.
Oddly she goes on to post this about three hours later.
I don’t “really get into TV shows” either, and have never watched Breaking Bad. I didn’t even bother watching this until somebody told me I probably should. So I did, and I got the message, Nicole.
My husband was right, of course, to be at least mildly concerned.
So that’s why I made a half-hearted stab at anonymity. I knew it wouldn’t last and in fact, wanted to end it long before I did, but continued only because I was getting the love letters pretty regularly and didn’t want to stop them. It was a nice collection.
But what happens with anonymity is that because you don’t know who sent the letter, you come up with your own List. You’re basically blaming everyone on The List for writing the letter.
It’s not fair, of course. Nor is it reasonable. But it’s what happens.
This is the reason that Nicole has a habit of calling anyone who criticizes her a “troll.” There have been so many fake identities and sock puppets that it just turns into a Big List and they are all a collective they. So one fake person says X, and another fake person says Y, and in her mind, every person who is opposed to her in the slightest way is guilty of X and Y.
And of course, she lumps me in as well. I made The List early on, under my real name (which is the only name they’ve ever had for me because it’s the only name I use). There were 55 of us on The List. The Naugler Enemy List.
And she’s been lashing out wildly, flailing around fruitlessly, trying to take out the people on The List.
And on the other side there is the whole list of Naugler fakes. “Jack Schitt,” for example.
It’s a mess. It drives me crazy. I wish it didn’t exist. I understand why people do it. I know that being taunted because your child died isn’t fun and doesn’t feel good, and I totally get the desire to lash back, and if it takes using a sock puppet to do the lashing, well. . .
I also know that there are very real concerns that equal or exceed my husband’s concern about Joe Naugler’s criminal record. People have families that are vulnerable. They are employed and don’t want trouble at their workplace. The Nauglers have participated or encouraged or condoned that sort of thing right from the start.
It’s an interesting thing to me that Nicole raises holy hell about fake identities on her pages and bans them immediately.
It’s her page, of course, and her right to do so, but what I find sort of fascinating is this fake profile.
I’ll have much more to say about “Charles Smyth” later on, but he’s very much a fake and very much tolerated on Nicole’s pages.
He’s also very much her little sycophant.
Nicole has little conversations with “Charles.” Nicole is very comfortable with “Charles.” Too comfortable.
“Charles” functions a bit like a bouncer. “He” rushes to Nicole’s side whenever “he” thinks she is being threatened in some way by somebody who is disagreeing with her and he often does the “TROLL ALERT” thing like he’s this brilliant detective or maybe a Geiger counter.
So some fakes are fine. Others are not fine and are banned.
I strongly suspect the fakes that are fine are the ones that Nicole knows because she knows who the real person is behind them. That or she is the real person behind them.
And that brings us back full circle. When you use fakes, you create uncertainty not just about who around you might be guilty of doing a specific deed, but about yourself. It works both ways.
And that’s why I don’t use fakes.
I included a copy of Nicole’s one comment (under her real name) here.
Jacob’s comment was denied, after I gave it a little thought, because he is underage.
And no, I don’t have balls, something you’ll just have to take my word about. Nicole doesn’t either, something the whole world knows because she posts photos of her genitalia during childbirth.
Jacob’s comment put me between a rock and a hard place. If I had approved it, she would have howled and screamed that the resultant conversation was “attacking her underage children.” I knew that if I didn’t approve it, she would also howl. You know, it’s something like President Obama and the Republicans in Congress. I couldn’t do anything “right.”
Suppose there was a town with an average number of banks (dozens, I would presume), and let’s suppose that one of those banks got robbed on a day in July.
And the police came and interviewed the tellers and customers who were in the bank during the robbery and they all said that the guy (it was a man) wore a multi-colored crocheted face mask and was tall and thin.
In August, the same bank got robbed again by a tall, thin robber wearing a multi-colored crocheted face mask.
In September, ditto. And October.
By November, the bank manager and the police (who are admittedly a little slow here) start to see a pattern, so they lay a trap, and lo and behold, a tall, thin guy wearing a multi-colored crocheted face mask comes into the bank in November and tries to rob it. But our clever cops and bank manager are prepared and catch him.
When they get him to the police station and take his statement, he admits to the attempted robbery, but insists that he didn’t have anything to do with the robberies in the previous four months. Nothing. He is just plain innocent of them. It was a different tall, thin man wearing a multi-colored crocheted face mask.
And anyone who suggests that he might be the culprit in all the robberies is “lying.”
You know how Nicole could exonerate herself from all the other “robberies”? She could tell us who wrote them. She knows, of course. Tell us the identity of the other tall, thin man wearing a multi-colored badly-crocheted face mask.