Samuel Shaffer Update

The original story is here.

There’s followup here.

In this update, I’m going to assume that you’ve read the original, so if you haven’t and find this not making any sense, go read it.

Salt Lake Tribune

So, the two guys who took their children (without custody) out to their apocalyptic “prepper” stronghold, it turns out, had a little double marriage ceremony of sorts.

Did this make your blood run sort of cold to read it?

It did mine.

Joe Naugler has as Facebook friends about 10 percent of the people who are listed as Samuel Shaffer’s friends.  That’s a significant percentage. I did a little looking to see how many people on my Facebook friend list have that sort of percentage of friends with me.

The answer is family and very close personal friends.  They are all people with whom I share lots of personal interests.

I assume this is true of  you and Samuel Shaffer and Joe Naugler.

That’s from the article cited above. These men were endeavoring to spread the word about their goofy (and now we know, very dangerous) religious ideas via social media.

One of the mutual friends of Sam Shaffer and Joe Naugler is Mark Lichtenwalter.  The interesting thing about Mark is that he has two different profiles (like Nicole and Joe do) and Joe is friends with one of them while Mark is friends with the other.  This means that Joe didn’t see Mark commenting on Sam’s page and then shoot Mark a friend request based on that.  Joe friended him someplace else.

Here’s Mark, in his own words.

The biblical material quoted goes on and on, so I cut off much of it because how much of that crap can you stand, but when I first read this, I tried to give Mark the benefit of the doubt and thought maybe he was saying that “God” was speaking in a sort of general way about him.

But no.

Mark thinks he is a (THE?) Messiah.

Like, you know, the Second Coming of Jesus.  Or something.  Well, it seems he’s actually the Second Coming of Lucifer.

But “God” apparently didn’t bother to make sure his voice knew how to write correctly or spell words or use punctuation or capital letters. “God” prepared Mark all his life for his supposed role, but education wasn’t high on the list.

After Samuel was arrested, Mark went into damage-control mode and made a little video proclaiming his non-involvement.  If you find all this shit fascinating, give it a view.

So we have Samuel, who diddles little girls because he thinks he’s supposed to because somehow God wants that, and Mark, who thinks that it’s probably okay to diddle little girls, but assures us that he never, ever, has never, ever done any such thing, and Joe, who thinks. . . what?

It’s sort of interesting to me that this story has been in the news now since December 5.  Joe and Nicole love to pontificate on Facebook. They give their opinion out on every subject you can imagine, as long as it’s mostly cops (don’t like them), the state (don’t like that either), circumcision (agin’ it), guns (love ’em) or memes explaining how superior they are to everyone else.

Yet, neither of them has had a single word to say about Samuel Shaffer. Dead silence.

And they both know about the story. They know because I wrote about it and they read every word I write.

I find myself wondering why while the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.



Mutual Friends

It seems that Samuel Shaffer and Joe Naugler share more than just a Facebook friendship with Pace Ellsworth.

A lot more.

I just looked through my friend list on Facebook to see how many people I have lots of mutual friends with.  I was looking for how many.

I share 91 friends with Dave.

That is not surprising.  Dave and I are married and we have a lot of the same friends.

I have 80 mutual friends with my son Nathan.  That is not surprising, either. Those are mostly people who knew Nathan and also know me.

I have a few friends that I share some friends with and they are not people I’ve met in real life.  What we do share is some mutual interest.  There is a connection between us.  The usual thing is that we have 4 mutual friends, or maybe even 10 mutual friends.

These are not just random people who sent me a friend request on Facebook and I accepted it and we don’t really know each other.  These are all people I know pretty well in real life, or I know pretty well from an online connection of some sort.

This, I would guess, is pretty typical.

With that in mind, look at this.

Exhibit 1.

Exhibit 2.

Exhibit 3.

Exhibit 4.

Exhibit 5.

Exhibit 6.

Exhibit 7.

Exhibit 8.

Exhibit 9.

Exhibit 10.  NOTE:  These two profiles, for Mark Lichtenwalter, aren’t the same.  I checked and they are quite obviously the same person. They are very like the Nicole Naugler profile and the Nicole C Naugler profile. Same person.  That makes it even more interesting, because it means that Joe didn’t “find” Mark on Shaffer’s profile (or vice versa).

Exhibit 11. NOTE: This is another instance of two different profiles, but the same person. He even shared the same stuff on both pages.

Exhibit 12.

Exhibit 13.

Exhibit 14.

Exhibit 15.

Now, add to this Pace Ellsworth (from the other page), and that makes 16 mutual friends that Joe has with Samuel Shaffer.

This would be only slightly significant if you only looked at Joe, who has 4500+ friends.

But it becomes much more meaningful when you look at Samuel Shaffer, who only has 168 friends. And of those 168 friends, several of them are duplicates (same person, two different profiles). So there are not 168 individual people who are friends with Samuel Shaffer. There are about 160.

Out of 160 people, Joe Naugler is friends with 16 of them (or 10%).

This is only possible if Samuel Shaffer and Joe Naugler share some common interest. There simply has to be a connection between them.

I looked over some of those mutual friends’ profiles just to see what jumped out as a possible connection, and they tend to be mostly goof-ball religious offshoots from Mormonism.  This is the exact thing that got Samuel Shaffer in trouble in the first place.  He has these whack-job beliefs and it caused him to run afoul of the law.

Gee, could this be what Joe shares with Samuel Shaffer?  Does this mean that Joe and Nicole were doing exactly what I have always thought they were doing, and were in the process of fleeing when Sheriff Pate intercepted Nicole at the shitstead that day?  Is Joe going to hide his kids in 50-gallon barrels?

Now then, are Joe and Nicole going to stop with the “we have proof of collusion between Sheriff Pate and Sally Davis because of Facebook friends” bullshit or am I going to continue to bring up Samuel Shaffer every time they do it?



My initial reaction to reading this was “Good golly, is it possible to mangle the English language any more than that?” and “Would somebody please give Joe some tutoring in the use of prepositional phrases?”

My second reaction was “Well, there’s another threat of bodily harm.”  So I’m putting it here because that’s what it is.  A threat to hurt me, physically hurt me.  Joe wants to hurt me physically because I said mean things on the internet.   I’m sure I called him a “pussy” and a “coward” and therefore he is going to kill me.  That’s what deadly force means.

But then I caught the whole “their (sic) fucking lucky” stuff.

And yes, I am fucking lucky.

Out of all the times and places where I could have been born, I was born in the United States in the twentieth century and I was born white (white privilege is morally wrong but it is real).  I was born to parents who had flaws, for sure, but who believed strongly in providing me with a decent home, good nutrition, medical care when necessary and a good education.

I had to pay for my college education myself, but at no point in my early years did I ever once consider not going.  It was unthinkable.  That would have been like thinking that I might not brush my teeth, or that I might rob a bank.

I am lucky because I managed to ditch Boyfriend A and Boyfriend B, be ditched by Boyfriend C, and then hit the jackpot in the marriage lottery.

I am lucky because Dave and I both have enjoyed good health all our lives thus far. Even if we developed some dire problem now, we’ve spent decades as healthy adults.

I am lucky because my husband has a super-strong work ethic, and was reared by a mother who countenanced no nonsense when it came to pulling your own weight.

I am lucky because we have spent 46 (soon to be 47) years as a partnership of equals, one where my desires and goals and dreams have carried just as much weight as his do.

I am lucky because even though we were only able to produce one child, he was a genius.

I am lucky because even though our one child has died, he was our best friend. He loved us enough to want to spend time with us, and he knew that he was loved in return.

I am lucky because Nathan chose his friends well and they have been beyond good to us in the wake of his death.

I am lucky because Dave and I were able to both retire at a young age, and we face our sunset years with a reasonable level of financial security, thanks in part to the US government (Social Security) and the US economy (our own investments).

I am lucky because due to that early retirement, we have been able to travel a lot, not only all over North America, but also to many foreign countries.

I am lucky because even though I was immersed in a lunatic religion as a youngster, I was able to escape.  Not many people are able to do that. Most remain imprisoned for life.

I am lucky because Dave joined me in the escape from religion.  Many people who leave are faced with the loss of their most precious relationships as a result.

I am lucky because when I come up with hair-brained schemes (“let’s move to Alaska” or “let’s buy a small farm with a milk cow” or “let’s go on four cruises back-to-back”), Dave will join in enthusiastically unless I’ve gone completely off the rails (“let’s go to Atlanta and demonstrate and get put in jail” – I didn’t do that one).  And when he has his own plans (“let’s get a new tractor” or “let’s buy a Freightliner to pull our RV”), I’ve embraced those as well.

I am lucky because both Dave and I were encouraged all our lives to do new things, to cut new paths, to gain knowledge and put it to use, and we did just that.

I am lucky because we get to serve the finest cow in North America.

Some of this luck was of our own creation. But a whole lot of it, probably the majority, came about because we were incredibly fortunate and were simply born to the right people at the right place at the right time.

Yes, I am lucky. So are you.  What is sad is to be born with such fabulous advantages and throw them all away because you refuse to work, refuse to learn, refuse to listen to anyone else, and refuse to progress even slightly, and instead spend your entire precious life looking around for somebody to blame for all your own failings.

Not long after Nathan died, Dave and I went to Washington, DC to a convention of atheists. We, again, were incredibly lucky, because four men were in attendance during that week and they would never get the opportunity to engage personally together again.  Called the “Four Horsemen,” they were Dan Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens.

I am lucky because one night there was a cocktail party which included just a few people and Dave and I were in that bunch, which means that we got to meet those four men and have a bit of a conversation with them.

That’s me with Daniel Dennett, who is a very nice guy as well as a very smart one.

Imagine, if you will, the four people on earth who you admire the most, or maybe the four rock bands you adore, or your most loved ball team, and imagine that you get to go meet them personally.  That’s what this was like for me.

I am lucky because during that convention, Richard Dawkins read a much-loved quote from one of his books. I have a copy of the book, and have worn out the page where that quote appears.  The passage gave me comfort in those awful months right after we lost Nate. When Dawkins got up and began to read, I had to put on my sunglasses so people wouldn’t see me crying.

The quote is on the side bar of this blog, but here it is again, because it’s about being lucky.

We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?

Richard Dawkins, from Unweaving the Rainbow