Archive for the sociopathy Category

Happy Birthday to Beth Buege!

Posted in authors behaving badly, badly behaving authors, crazy people, criminals, misogyny, Murder, narcissism, psychopathy, Rape, Rapists, Reviews, sexism, Sexual Assault, society, sociopathy, trolls, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2014 by The Solution
Happy Birthday, Beth!

Happy Birthday, Beth!

I apologize for being away from this blog for so long.  I plan to be back with another installment of the Fraud Omnibus series of posts on the subject of author fraud soon. A lot of the author-fraudsters seem to be keeping a lower profile at this time in the wake of the backlash from concerned reviewers, readers and other authors a few weeks ago.  But, there is still plenty more to be said.

If you read my previous posts, you may have noticed that author-fraudsters are people who have a different philosophy about ethics than the rest of us.  Most of them have a knack for dancing on the razor’s edge of what the rules and the law allows. They usually know just what they can get away with and just how far they can go and they don’t always confine their activities to simply paying for fake reviews, as described in this ZonAlert article.  Moreover, you may have noticed a pattern in their activities, for instance, they all hang together for fear of hanging separately.

Who is Beth Buege?

In the course of trying to deduce exactly what some of these folks who have a suspicious pattern of reviews, who either outright buy reviews or employ online gangs of fake fans, called “Street Teams,” to deceive readers and game the Amazon ranking and review system were up to, I ran across a real life mystery drama. It’s the story of a family who lost their daughter, Beth, to a cold-blooded killer, a strangler of women, on June 3, 1990.  It is believed that the killer is still on the loose in their community and a lot of people, who love Beth and have never forgotten her, want him put behind bars where he belongs. They are working very hard to get attention to this case and bring her killer to justice.

Time does not wash away the blood from a murderer’s hands. He knows who he is and, according to information available about this case online, so do a few other people.

Death is only a physical event and, because we are so much more than just our physical bodies, those who have passed on are never really far away from us.  Ever since I found out about this case, which is now a Milwaukee, Wisconsin cold case, I have often had the feeling that Beth is close by. I can see her smile sometimes when I close my eyes and sometimes I even think I can hear a faint voice saying, “Don’t forget me.”

She’s not able to speak out for justice on her own behalf now, so it is up to us to her to keep her case in the spotlight as best we can.

Every day that I read of a similar cold case somewhere in the country being re-opened and solved, I feel hopeful that this could happen for Beth, too. If the right detectives with the  intelligence and the drive to solve this case using all the new tools available to law enforcement agencies these days took enough interest in it, this case could be re-opened and Beth and her family could have some  justice and a modicum of peace.

Prosecuting criminals doesn’t bring back the dead, but it does give the family, the community and everyone else concerned the sense that the legal system works, at least, once in a while.  It would be nice for all of us to feel that we are not living in an environment where the bad people always win and the expense of everyone else and are never held accountable.

A glance at the large number of cold cases for murder, not only in Wisconsin, but all throughout the country does not impart a feeling of confidence or security.  Too many cold-blooded killers are never caught. Sometimes they blend in seamlessly with the rest of society and who knows what else they become involved in, how many other crimes they go on to commit – undetected, unsuspected, unpunished – because they know exactly how much they can get away with,  how to stay just out of reach of the justice system and very often they know how to insulate themselves with the support of others who, also, hold a different philosophy about ethics than the rest of us.

Getting Beth Buege’s case re-opened would be a gift to her, really the only gift we can give her.

It is, also, the right and ethical thing to do. It is simply not fair that  such criminality should be allowed to flourish.

Happy Birthday Beth!

birthday

Happy Birthday, Beth!

Beth was born on this day, May 16th, in 1969. As you can see from the pictures in the video below, she was a very pretty child who grew into a beautiful and very photogenic woman. She was only 21-years old when she was strangled by someone.  According to reports, the last person to see her was her boyfriend.

The following is from the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Journal Sentinal, June 3, 2010:

On Sunday, June 3, 1990, shortly before 9 a.m., Buege was found strangled in the passenger seat of her red Chrysler Laser in the 4900 block of N. 49th St. The car was seen several hours before parked outside what was then Jake’s restaurant in Wauwatosa, where a man she was dating lived upstairs.

A witness saw the car – with a license plate that read “FLRT 12” – jerking along N. 49th St., said retired Wauwatosa police detective King DeSeve.

“Whoever was driving it obviously didn’t know how to use a stick shift,” said DeSeve, who, with the blessings of Milwaukee police investigators, worked the case unofficially until he retired in 2003.

Beth was a loving daughter and a kind, trusting person, whose life was cut short by this inexplicable act of brutal violence. The motive is unknown.

For more details about Beth’s life and more information about this case, please, see the following video:

How You Can Help

The man who killed Beth has been dancing on the razor’s edge, just outside the reach of the law for far too long.  Please, look at the information available about Beth’s life and her murder at the previous post, My Tribute to Beth Buege, Her Family and Friends. If you know anything that could help police solve this case, please, contact Detective Kathy Spano at 414-935-1212.

If  you are moved by the details of Beth’s case, please, do what you can to keep her story fresh in people’s minds. If you have the ability or influence to help get this case re-opened, please, use use whatever is available to you to get more attention on the case and put the pressure on law enforcement to bring the murderer to justice.

Related articles:

Reward is Doubled by Parents Who Think Boyfriend is Suspect, The Milwaukee Sentinel, November 2, 1991: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1368&dat=19911102&id=5kUbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=6U4EAAAAIBAJ&pg=3402,516255

Milwaukee slaying remains unsolved after 20 years,  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, by Jesse Garza, June 3, 2013:  http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/95479204.html

 

 

 

My Tribute to Beth Buege, Her Family and Friends

Posted in authors behaving badly, badly behaving authors, crazy people, criminals, misogyny, Murder, narcissism, popular culture, psychopathy, Rape, Rapists, Reviews, sexism, Sexual Assault, society, sociopathy, trolls, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2014 by The Solution

This was my rant site, the place where I vented about a lot of things that bothered me before I deleted most of those posts to focus on what is happening with indie authors committing fraud.  I once called this site my therapy place because I am a multiple violent crime survivor. I have survived multiple rapes as well as being abducted and held at gunpoint in an incident of random violence that nearly resulted in my death.

The men who tried kill me did not succeed. I survived.

But, Beth Buege did not.

In neither of our cases have the men who committed the violent crimes against us ever been brought to justice. There is no hope that the criminals who tried to kill me will ever be brought to justice – one of them was a cop.

But, I believe that there is still hope that Beth Buege will get justice, although her murder in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 3, 1990 is now a cold case.  I have read the articles and viewed the video tribute to Beth Buege below from YouTube and I have seen the determination of her family and friends to obtain justice for her – and for themselves.

You see, the family and close friends of Beth Buege are crime survivors, too. When their daughter’s life was brutally snuffed out in 1990, they crossed into that world of twilight that all of us who are violent crime survivors live in. Nothing ever looks the same afterward.

How I First Learned About the Murder of Beth  E. Buege

I would not know about Beth Buege except I happened to be at the right place at the right time to see her friends’ or family’s desperate attempts to bring attention to her case.

My understanding from this incident and from what I’ve read elsewhere is that the family of Beth Buege would like to bring more attention to the events surrounding her murder. More people talking about any case like this helps keep it alive in the minds of not only the public, but law enforcement.

To that I say: 10-4. Message received.

So, this is my tribute to Beth Buege.

It is a collection of articles and a video to inform you about the circumstances surrounding her unsolved murder. I hope that someone will see this who can help or who will feel moved to tell what they may know about the circumstances of her death, which will finally bring her killer to justice.

According to the articles and other information below, the Buege family is certain of the identity of her killer, but Beth was murdered in 1990 when DNA evidence had not yet developed to its present state of technology. Although, there are others who probably know something about the circumstances surrounding her murder, they are not talking. These seem to be the main reasons her killer has not been put behind bars for the rest of his life, which is better than he deserves. As it is, the suspected killer is still at large, apparently living quite a good life.

Information About Beth Buege Collected from the Web

Reward is Doubled by Parents Who Think Boyfriend is Suspect, The Milwaukee Sentinel, November 2, 1991: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1368&dat=19911102&id=5kUbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=6U4EAAAAIBAJ&pg=3402,516255

Milwaukee slaying remains unsolved after 20 years,  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, by Jesse Garza, June 3, 2013:  http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/95479204.html

Unsolved Murder of Beth E. Buege, Unsolved Murders National Database, http://www.truecrimereport.com/coldcase/victim/unsolved-murder-of-beth-e-buege-28890875/

Beth is listed on this page along with many other beautiful, young women who have been murdered: http://csafd.proboards.com/thread/2437?page=37I’d like to point out the obvious, but something that is often forgotten when we talk about women who are murdered or raped: They’re not murdered or raped on their own. Somewhere is a brutal criminal who committed the crime and he is, more than likely, still at large.

(Update 3/22/2014: The following site lists suspicious deaths in Wisconsin. You’ll recognize Beth on the 7th row down, 3rd from the right. Hover your mouse over her photo for details:  http://php.wisinfo.com/mktg/unsolved_osh/ Also, see this page – http://www.thenorthwestern.com/section/WIS019804 –  for a number of videos discussing these cases, including a Cold Case Series, which you’ll find when you scroll down near the bottom. The video series discusses how cold cases are being handled and many of them solved, not only in Wisconsin, but elsewhere.  One theme is the importance of people talking about the cases and keeping on talking about them.)

(Update 3/25/2014: The following link goes to a memorial in Beth’s honor where you can send virtual flowers or a message:  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=53202188 )

If you are on Facebook, you can go to this page and learn about Beth Buege at her brand new page (Apparently Facebook took down the old page a couple of days ago), which is called Memories of Beth Buege: https://www.facebook.com/groups/748070505218006/

This is a video tribute to Beth Buege with some known information about the night of her death, information about the prime suspect and who to call if you have any information. This is a very moving and haunting video. I woke up with the song, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” going through my head this morning, I can’t get it out of my mind, which is what moved me to make this entire post :

If something happens to the above video, you may find it here: http://www.frequency.com/video/beth-buege/153062305/-/5-1429513

There is no peace without justice!

Justice is very important for all crime survivors, including the family and friends of murder victims, who are often not treated very well. Not only they are they cast aside by the system, but they are treated horribly by society as a whole.  They are left to pick up the pieces of their lives entirely on their own and sometimes they live in fear because of what they know. For instance, in this case a killer of women is still on the loose and since he has gotten away with his crime for so long, he may be feeling pretty confident about his chances of never getting in trouble for anything – ever.

Nobody can just move on from so great a violation as what this family – and many other survivors – have endured. They live with it every day. They go to sleep with it and they wake up with it. Their view of the world and the people in it has been completely altered forever. Their sense of safety and peace is completely shattered because they know a truth the rest of the world doesn’t seem to know or care about.

The only way to bring a modicum of peace to this family, for them to feel that the world is something like it ought to be, again, is for their daughter’s killer to be acknowledged for the murderer he is and be brought to justice. Justice and peace have been denied to this particular family for almost 24 years. But, there is hope. If you know anything about the circumstances of Beth Buege’s murder, please contact Detective Kathy Spano at 414-935-1212.

Rant on Authors Who Publicly Brag About Their Income and Sales Figures

Posted in crazy people, popular culture, society, sociopathy, trolls, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2014 by The Solution

Marinus_van_Reymerswale_007This is a rant site – a place to vent, as I’ve called it many times before, it’s my self-therapy.  I look back at some of my angry rants at the beginning and I think it must be working a little bit because I really am enjoying myself now. And, I’ve especially enjoyed today’s Writer’s Cafe at KBoards drama.  As I ranted about sometime last year, I had an unfortunate encounter with some very nasty posters there when I wandered in to ask a question about publishing. Just the nature of my question seemed to lead some of the disenfranchised members of their group to believe that maybe I was just a little too successful for their liking and I was immediately attacked by some of their regular members there.  I posted about it here:  “Rant on Kindleboards or Kboards Writer’s Cafe and a Warning to Authors.”

I’ve stated before in a couple of my other rants that I do not think forums are very good places. They never really were very safe and now that there is less anonymity on the web, they are even more dangerous than they were 15 years ago.

No matter how private they may seem to the posters, how familial or friendly the other posters may appear, the fact is you don’t really know those people. And, you don’t know who else is reading your forum posts – like me. I’ve been reading this thread at Kboard Writer’s Cafe since yesterday. I’ve gone through two pots of coffee and enjoyed a lot of hearty laughs.  I’ve been working really hard this week and this is my first really enjoyable break. And, apparently, I’m not alone in this because that most recent blow-up thread has had a remarkable number of views.

Certain central ideas persist around the most recent furor, though.  Here is probably the very most important idea: Those people that you have deluded yourself into thinking are your friends and supporters are not.

This is especially true if you have a self-entitlement attitude. For example, if you think you are so special or important and have so many supporters that you can ask them to bump you up in the rankings, be aware that there are a lot of people who don’t like you, who think you’re a little too big for your britches. And, if you think you are so special and deserving that you can go into a writer’s group and ask your competitors to help you game the system at Amazon, then you deserve whatever backlash you get.

“Pride goeth before disaster, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

And, even if those people at that forum were your friends, they are not really going to appreciate you bragging about your income and sales figures. Despite what they say, they don’t like it. Nobody likes it. It is not being “helpful” to anyone or anything except your ego.

Perhaps, it has escaped the notice of the braggarts that we are in a recession – truth be told, we’re probably in a depression. Lots of people are struggling. People who work almost constantly are struggling. A lot of people are not as fortunate as you. If you’re an arrogant, self-entitled prat, it may not occur to you that not everyone has the advantages that you may have – you with your massive sales numbers and swelling income. Not everybody is lucky enough to have family support or even a family. Lots of people don’t have friends – lots of writers, especially, are very isolated. Lots of people, especially writers and people who must find alternative means of earning a living, are not blessed with good health.

Now, those people are not going to tell you about their problems most of the time because it’s scary and unwise to talk about your health problems and the fact that nobody has got your back in real life.

And, they may not be the ones leaving the one-star drive-by reviews on your sales pages (for those people, I’d suggest looking to some of those regular posters who you think are your friends, who encourage you to act foolishly, to expose yourself, to boast about your income and good fortune, and who applaud you when you do these things and tell you you’re not doing anything wrong), but they don’t like you.

I don’t like you.

You see…

There used to be a thing called etiquette, it’s an old-fashioned idea that goes all the way back to the 1980s – that’s about the last time I remember seeing anything like it, anyway.  One rule of etiquette is that you don’t talk about money. You don’t brag about your income, how much money you’ve got in the bank, how much you’ve paid for your house or your car. You don’t count your money in front of the customers, if you have a business.

You don’t brag about how much money and sales you make – even to people you think are your friends. It’s considered very rude – because you don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives. People who are having a hard time and who have a sense of humility and decency, themselves, don’t talk about their finances. Your friends who are, also, working hard, but surviving on 99-cent hot dogs and dried beans aren’t going to appreciate hearing about your swelling bank account. And, it’s not nice to rub it in their faces.

You certainly don’t do it at a public forum or at your website or blog, from which you sell your books. This is a bad idea!

It’s bad form.

It’s bad manners.

It’s rude.

It makes you look like an insensitive clod.

And, it’s pretty stupid, too.

And, that is some of the basis for the undercurrent of nastiness that can be seen embodied in that popular thread at Writer’s Cafe at Kboards right now.

If a lot of those people being praised by their sycophantic fellow posters there as “contributing” so much to the forum were not a bunch of braggadocious fools with apparently no concept of how to behave in normal, non-psychotic society, then I would not have had 24-hours of beautiful, beautiful entertainment.

Also, I agree that publicly threatening to sue your reviewers is bad form. It’s not a good idea. That’s the article here: http://www.bigskywords.com/1/post/2014/01/should-you-sue-your-ebook-reviewers.html/ The guy who wrote it is right, although he’s been badmouthed by a lot of people at the Kboards Writer’s Cafe in that same thread. I can’t understand why they want to defend an author behaving so childishly toward a reviewer, but he claims he has been successful, so maybe they think they can somehow get a piece of his success for themselves by groveling at his feet – sort of like rubbing the head of a leprechaun for good luck, I suppose.  It’s very odd – it’s the bizarre characteristic of that forum that a bunch of hostile strangers posing as friends stick together as a mob around the internet. You can see it for yourself and see who some of the real trouble-makers are, see the comment section at the above-linked article.

(Quick update on 2/10/2014, regarding the article linked above at http://www.bigskywords.com) – I don’t like to name names, especially when an author appears to be litigious, so I won’t name him – but, something is very strange. The subject of the afore-mentioned article at bigskywords.com is a V.I.P. at Writer’s Cafe Kboards right now. He’s made the rounds with the Alex Jones Show associates based in Texas because he writes in the trendy, testosterone-drenched, apocalyptic prepare-for-a-government-collapse/revolution genre, if that even is a genre. I just caught a podcast with this guy here: http://rockingselfpublishing.com/005-joe-nobody/ and I compared it to this:  http://www.kemahbay.com/Clients.php  I will leave you to draw your own conclusions. You won’t have to listen to the podcast for more than 6 minutes, then look carefully at the comment at the marketing website to see what I mean. Also, see this: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,156162.msg2253480.html#msg2253480 And, under the category of “authors behaving badly,” see this here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1TLFBBHWK9PPJ/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=061559283X&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=#wasThisHelpful Now, I ask you – would you take either writing, publishing or marketing advice from someone like this? Why is he being praised for “contributing” so much at Writer’s Cafe Kboards? As I said before, in at least one previous rant, listen very carefully when a man tells you about himself, especially upon first introduction – if he’s going to tip his hand, this is when he’ll do it – see what I mean: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,130586.msg1926804.html#msg1926804

Definition of the word, scoundrel: A person (especially a man) who is cruel, unscrupulous or dishonest; a disreputable person.

Again, if you are looking for examples of how not to behave and what not to do as an author, I think you will find the Writer’s Cafe very instructive. Just hang around for a while and observe. Give the big ducks in the little pond a chance to drown themselves in their own excrement and eventually – as we see from the above thread – it happens.

(Added February 19, 2014) There is one more reason why you shouldn’t share your sales figures in public places, which I had temporarily forgotten and that has to do with contracts.  Someone brings it up here at this Writer’s Cafe Kboards forum and reminds people that this is not allowed.  Writer’s Cafe Kboards has a special widget for posters who want to brag about their daily sales figures by means of a “badge” placed beneath each post they make.  The design of the badge indicates their average daily sales.  I predict this thread will not end well: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,179095.0.html

Rant on Stephen King’s Palpable Misogyny Toward Sex Crime Survivors

Posted in crazy people, misogyny, narcissism, popular culture, Rape, Rapists, sexism, Sexual Assault, society, sociopathy, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2014 by The Solution

393px-Frederick_Sandys_(1829-1904)_-_May_Margaret,_1865-6I have ranted here before about the misogyny and overall filth in Stephen King’s books. I was just beginning to come around – beginning to feel a little better about King, again, because frankly it’s hard to ignore his work and his success. The fact is he is really good at establishing characters and credibility in his books. I was more than half way through his big hit, “The Shining,” which is surprisingly not especially misogynistic, especially compared to Kubric’s movie version, although I found some racism toward the end, which I consider gratuitous use of racist epithets to be.

Gratuitous racism (or sexism/misogyny) is unnecessary and unpleasant. It takes away from the enjoyment of the story and horror should be filled with fun horror (vampires, zombies, etc.) and not real life horrors like racism and misogyny. That’s my position on this kind of thing. If the racism or misogyny doesn’t further the plot, doesn’t develop an important character, etc., then it doesn’t belong there.

But, I didn’t see much in the way of misogyny in the book, “The Shining,” in fact, King is very much into the mind of Wendy, who is intelligent, although trapped in a bad situation with her son.

So, here I am, beginning to forgive King, beginning to think I had literally read him a little wrong when, I ran across an article somewhere online talking about Stephen King’s misogynistic tweeting.

See the Tweet here: https://twitter.com/StephenKing/statuses/430468906243735552

In case the tweet ends up getting deleted, here’s some more information:

Related headlines

King later apologized saying he probably used the “wrong word.”

What is the right word, I wonder, for accusing a young woman who has come forward with allegations of sex abuse by her wealthy, influential step-father, who has a less than stellar reputation when it comes to keeping it in his pants around minors, of being malicious, spiteful and perhaps outright lying?

I don’t know and Stephen King has never clarified what he meant, exactly, but we can use a dictionary and find out that “bitchery” is a reference to the bitchy, spiteful malicious behavior of women.

So, I’ll say it, again – I think this man is a terrible misogynist. I think a lot of his work, not all, but certainly some of it is misogynistic and racist. I am not surprised, of course…  This is the world we live in and if King’s work didn’t exemplify it so well, he wouldn’t be so popular.

As a side note:  He,  also, at one point, blamed Twitter for his “bitchery” comment. This reminded me that he’s a big gun control guy … I ranted about him and his gun control book in a previous rant here… Gun control advocates like to blame inanimate objects whenever something goes wrong. Yeah, his Twitter account just jumped off his laptop and “went off” all by itself. Typical!

Rant on Crazy and Abusive Online Forum Moderators

Posted in crazy people, narcissism, psychopathy, society, sociopathy, trolls, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2013 by The Solution
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A crazy person in charge… Oops!
I just invoked Godwin’s law!
Discussion over!
{PD}

This rant is about abusive moderators in online forums. Unfortunately, forum members aren’t the lone source of abusive and insane behavior in online forums. In my experience, it is common for moderators to be not quite right in the head.

Once upon a time, back in the late 1990s I was a regular member of an online forum. It was a popular one that was moderated solely by the owner of the forum.  There were some interesting personalities on there and I learned a lot about effective written communication there.  As this popular forum grew, it became increasingly abusive and as many of the regular posters shared details of their personal lives there, it became apparent that many of them were truly mentally ill. Lots of them had diagnosed mental conditions of some kind and many were on medication. It got to the point where some posters there began warning others about all the psychos at this particular forum. Eventually, the crazies pretty much took over and the forum seemed to become a caricature of itself. Finally, the owner sadly shut it down.

But, a large group of dedicated, regular members were not ready for it to go away and one of them established her own forum and invited all the members to join.  At the new forum, the usual discussions and occasional flame wars went on and things didn’t seem all that different.  After a while, I began to realize that the owner and moderator of this forum was using multiple User IDs. She had her regular account and, at least, one sock puppet account.  A sock puppet, for anyone unfamiliar with this term, is a fraudulent secondary account someone establishes in order to pretend to be someone else.

Using her sock puppet IDs, this apparently schizophrenic moderator would pose as other posters in order to start heated discussions, hurl insults and instigate all kinds of problems.  While she was doing this, she, also, falsely accused other posters of having fraudlent accounts. She claimed she knew they were fake accounts because she could see that the IP addresses were the same, etc.  But, she was the one who had the multiple accounts and was starting arguments with “herself” and other posters so she could step in and moderate them.

This completely insane person, also, had access to people’s e-mail addresses, which they used to sign up for an account. The entire forum turned into an opportunity for this crazy person to lure people in, gain some measure of control over them, then feed off the emotional chaos she manufactured. In other words, this person was probably a narcissist or a psychotic or had some other kind of mental disorder.  She was from that pool of people from the original forum, many of whom were suffering from serious mental illnesses.

Now, apart from insanity, why would anyone want to own or moderate a forum?

The answer is, of course, money.

How Forums Make Money

Victor_Dubreuil_-_'Money_to_Burn',_oil_on_canvas,_1893

{pd}

Back in the 1990s, there were not a lot of affiliate programs and there was no Google AdSense. Amazon started the first online affiliate program, but just as it is now, it didn’t pay well then, either. It might generate enough money for the forum owner to cover part of the cost of hosting and domain. They, also, operated off PayPal donations from regular forum users.

But, 15 years later, things have changed a lot. People have forums usually either to promote products they’re selling or to generate passive income through advertising revenues.  When you go to a forum and you see lots of ads, then you know this is how they’re doing it.  Forums that don’t have ads are usually support forums for a product or service.

Many big forums these days don’t employ a lot of human moderators. Instead, they are moderated by some kind of automated complaint and review process or automatic filtering.

But, a few larger forums still use human moderators – sometimes multiple moderators.  Sometimes they are the owner of the forum, but if it’s a very large one, they have to find other people to moderate. Usually, these people are unpaid volunteers. Sometimes they are personal friends of the site owner, although more often they are frequent posters at the forum who volunteer for the job.

While there are some basic guidelines that can be given to forum moderators to help them do their jobs more effectively, there is nothing to do about the fact that many, if not most, people who volunteer to be moderators are personality disordered individuals. Some of these volunteers are narcissists who enjoy the sense of power and adulation that comes from the position of being a moderator.  At many forums – and I have complained most recently about the Writ’ers Cafe at KBoards (formerly Kindleboards) because I have seen outrageous examples of this relationship  there – the moderators are like some sort of gods who are never to be questioned and always to be praised and worshiped by the members of the forum. This is the narcissist-psychopant pairing I have previously ranted about – they go together like bread and butter.

Moderators set the tone at a forum, so if they’re crazy, then it quickly becomes a congregation of crazy posters as more normal people who want to join the discussion are soon repelled by their online activities or actually bullied off the forum because they are not properly participating in the mentally ill social dynamics of the forum.

As long as the core of crazies remains, the forum can continue to make money and that’s the most important thing in the case of forums that have advertisements everywhere. A heated discussion that turns into an explosion brings lots of visitors to their forum. If it’s bad enough, it generates discussion elsewhere online, which means more visitors to the site and more visitors means more revenues for the owners. It plumps their monthly visitor totals and if visitors click on ads, it increases their affiliate revenues.

So, these are the reasons how and why a forum can function with crazy moderators and equally crazy members and continue to generate revenues for the owner.  And, what do the volunteer moderators get out of it? They get to feed. They get their narcissistic “supply.” It’s kind of like paying musicians in beer to play at your night club. It’s not money, but it’s something they crave, so they’ll work for it.

Conclusion

devil

Don’t get caught in the devilish snares of forums run by crazy moderators.
{pd}

I will conclude by reiterating some of the things I’ve said in previous rants revolving around this subject, particularly about writer’s forums like the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards that encourages you to share information about yourself upfront, although this applies to any online forums.

Remember: When you sign up somewhere or even place a comment somewhere online – like at a blog (like this one) – you are leaving information someone can use to trace you. You never know who you’re dealing with online and I swear there is an increasing number of crazy people everywhere right now. This means you do not know if the owners and moderators of the forum are stable people or if they’re sociopaths or psychotics who are going to track you down and cause trouble for you. This has happened to people.  Furthermore, there’s a very good chance – in fact, I’d say it’s 100% in a forum of any size – that you are posting along side people who have serious mental disorders.

Therefore…

Do not sign up with your regular e-mail address. Use a throw-away email account that cannot be traced to you.

Choose a throw-away email name and a UserID at the forum that have absolutely nothing to do with you, ie. your preferences for anything whatsoever, where you live, your interests, etc. (If you like knitting, choose a handle that has something to do with skydiving; if your favorite food is hamburgers, then pick a handle that has something to do with Chinese food; and so on…). Also, choose something common that would be difficult to trace anywhere and never use it anywhere else except for at that particular forum.

Do not provide personal information about yourself of any kind – obviously never give financial information. Don’t brag about your income, what you own, your children, your pets, etc. In writing forums do not talk about your work. Certainly, do not provide links to where your books can be found – despite whatever they’re telling you, a help forum where you interact with other authors is not the place to market your books!

Also, do not post picture of yourself or your family – especially if you are a woman, do not post a picture of yourself. Do not post pictures of your children for the same reason. There are sickos online who will become fixated on you or your child just based on a glimpse of a photo – it has happened to me and countless other women and it can ruin your life. So, be very careful.

In fact, do not post any photos, at all – especially those taken with a camera that can provide your GPS (Global Positioning System) location – like a cell phone photo can – to someone who might want to harm you.  These photos are stamped with the latitude and longitude at which they were taken, so even if you take a picture of your pet gremlin frolicking in the grass of your backyard, someone could use that picture to locate you.

You don’t have to do or say anything wrong in a forum to have a problem. Just asking the wrong question over at a place like Writer’s Cafe Kboards can cause some people to go crazy and start harassing you – pretty soon, you’ll have a mob of them at a forum with a major narcissist-sycophant dynamic going on.  See the  “Rant on Kindleboards or Kboards Writer’s Cafe.”)

Get the information you need from the forum and get out. Remember, the way these forums make money is by your visits and the content you provide them with.  When you type something at a forum – they  own it – you are voluntarily contributing valuable content to their site, from which they profit.  Keep that in mind and ask yourself if you want to contribute content to a site owned and run by crazy, abusive people.  If you run across a forum like that – don’t feed the vampiric moderators or help fatten the owners’ profits by voluntarily contributing your content – especially if you are someone full of valuable insights. It won’t be appreciated by such people, anyway.

Read More About Crazy, Abusive Posters and Moderators in Online Forums:

http://www.psychforums.com/stalking-harassment/topic92780.html

http://boxedlight.com/blog/?p=641

Discusses cliquish forums and bad moderators with personal stories: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=93089.0

Article on How to Deal with a Forum Bully – I really like her final word of advice!:  http://voices.yahoo.com/online-forum-etiquette-deal-forum-bully-796861.html?cat=15

Good general article on the subject of Online Forum Bullies. It advises reporting forum bullies to the moderators, but this is useless advice if you have moderators who are, themselves, bullies and enjoy online bloodsports. Some personal stories of online forum bulllying are shared in the comments section at the end: http://chataboutyou.com/online-forum-bully

Interesting article about what to do if you own a forum and your moderators go bad. The comments section has personal stories of being bullied by cliquish posters and crazy moderators. This quote entitled “Scumbag Moderators” is mind-blowing because I’d swear they were talking about the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards because it describes exactly what goes on there – “I know a forum with scumbag moderators. The place is like a cult gathering. The mods will arbitrarily take issue with someone, almost always a new member, but not often enough for people to realize that the mods are a-holes – and they will make them feel unwelcome and treated unfairly…  …It is truly a disgusting collection of egos.” Read more at the following link:   http://www.seroundtable.com/archives/013440.html

Videos About Bad Behavior on Message Boards

I recommend listening to this video, but not watching it – the guy is eating and he has very poor table manners, but he makes some interesting points. Warning for some offensive language:

Rant on experience in Wiccan forums:

Rant on Message Boards:

Rant on Men Who Bring Up the Subject of Rape to Strange Women When They Are Angry

Posted in crazy people, misogyny, psychopathy, Rape, Rapists, sexism, Sexual Assault, sociopathy, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2013 by The Solution
551px-Dosso_Dossi_030

Anger

This rant is on a phenomenon I have experienced both in real life and online in the past three  years. I don’t remember it ever happening before that time, so I’m wondering if it is some kind of new trend.  At first I thought it was just men bringing up the subject of rape to women they don’t know out of the blue. But, after more consideration, I realize this is something they do when they are angry about something – it may not be anything related to you, but they are feeling frustrated so they automatically think of grabbing their dicks and doing some violent thing to a woman – otherwise, why are they talking about it?

It seems to me that more and more men are obsessed with rape and they feel free to bring the subject up with women they just met or have never met (as is the case online).  Why do some men automatically think of their crotches and rape when they get angry about something? And, why do they direct their aggression at whatever woman is handy at the moment? I don’t have answers, just questions and some incidents to share with you as I try to sort out the reasons for this bizarre behavior for myself.

In a previous rant, I’ve talked about huge and tall men I’ve never met before instantaneously becoming angry with me, such as the case when I was in Germany and several men had to hold another man back who wanted to attack me while I was quietly sitting in a chair. After becoming increasingly agitated and telling me, in English, that I should be gang raped by black men, he had to be held down to prevent him from attacking me. A strong element in these face-to-face instances is that the men are very large compared to me. It may not be a factor, but it goes with my big and tall men hating short, small women (and men) theory, which is discussed in the Rant on Height Discrimination Against Women and Men.

What I just described was a very direct threat of assault and possibly rape, but other instances are less direct, but still seem like threats to me.

People talk about the things that revolve in their minds. This is a fact. If you’re not thinking about it first, you’re not going to say it. The thought must precede the words. So, it’s clear to me that a lot of men walk around thinking about rape quite a lot.

I no longer deal with the public much and I like it that way because of the disturbing encounters I have with people when I do talk to them – not the little old ladies at the grocery store, but men – usually huge men.

The last time I had to deal with the public was when I was helping out a friend with his store by taking his place one night a week while he was recovering from surgery.  A lot of my customers were geriatric and I can’t tell you how disgusted I am at the behavior of these men, old enough to be my father or grandfather, right in front of their wives. Apparently, when they see you as a clerk standing behind a desk, they feel you are some sort of captive or you are of some lower status than them and, therefore, have to put up with their perverted behavior. I coped with that – barely – one night a week for a few weeks.

Then, the very last evening I worked in this place, a man came in and I don’t know how he got on this topic, but he began a long racist tirade, which went on and on and to which I was held a polite captive. At one point, he began repeating over and over again about how I would be raped by black men if I tried to walk across town. He didn’t just say it once, but repeatedly. Finally closing time came. There was, also, another man there who was doing some shopping, for which I was grateful and the rape fanatic finally left. But, I was pretty shaken up by the long racist tirade in which the man repeatedly talked about me being raped.

I don’t understand the racist component that some people want to throw into the problem of rape. (Race is irrelevant to a rape survivor – all rapists are inhuman monsters to us.) I’ve been told more than once that I should be gang raped by black men or Mexicans. Why do men I don’t know express to me these fantasies of me being gang raped by anyone? Clearly, it’s because  they have rape on their minds.

Furthermore, I realized that they think of rape when they’re angry and much like actual rapists, they will target any woman who is handy.

I’ve had similar experiences online. I had it once with someone from YouTube, which is overrun with MRAs (Men’s Rights Advocates). There I was told by a stranger that I should be gang raped by Mexicans because I expressed an opinion that differed from someone else’s.

But, I had the subject of rape brought up to me in anger, at least, four times by strange men in the short time I participated at the Kindleboards (now Kboards) Writer’s Cafe forum. And, when I objected to the last two people who brought it up, the moderators protected the perpetrators and enabled (if not encouraged)  them to continue with their bullying behavior – which I was told (by one of the male moderators there) to just forget, since I was the real problem. In my experience and observation, this particular discussion board has a culture of misogyny. By contrast, I’ve been a life-time, member of another popular forum for over three years and I’ve never had a problem with anyone doing something like this.

In every case in the online forum when this happened, it was a man who was angry with me for my opinion or something innocent thing I said. Whenever they’re angry they automatically think of their crotches and rape.

I think about these instances every so often, but what made me think of them, again, today was running across this article at Salon.com about an Indie author who is very active over at the Kboard Writer’s Cafe.  He has a bizarre sycophantic following at this misogynistic forum, so it really was no surprise to me that he wrote an article called “The Bitch from WorldCon,” which he later deleted. See part or all of the original article here and here. This is another case of indie authors behaving badly (see my Rant on Indie Authors Behaving Badly) and an example of another type of behavior some of the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards members are known for, which is trying to bully authors and publishers associated with traditional publishing houses.

According to the original blogpost, the author in question (His name is Hugh Howey) disagreed with something a woman, who was a publishing agent, said and he wrote that in his anger he thought of grabbing his crotch and ends his online tirade by telling her to “Suck it, bitch!” There’s a lot more to his misogynistic ranting, but this seemed to me to be the highlight. And, again, it begs the question:  Why do men immediately think of their crotches and the commission of acts of sexual violence against women when they become angry?

A woman rides with the devil on horseback.

A woman with her consort, the devil. Somebody, please, wake me up when the 21st century finally arrives – I’m still waiting.

This author is supposedly known for writing strong, fictional, female characters (although a couple of his books are on a “Misogyny Books” list at Goodreads.com), so his misogynistic tirade was a disappointment, especially to some women.  And, this is why authors – at least, some authors – really need professional help (for example, an agent or a traditional publisher). Ironically, as it turns out the woman, whom he referred to repeatedly as a “bitch,” a “she-devil” and a “demon” and whose appearance he hatefully ridiculed while he talks about slapping her and fantasizes about grabbing his crotch while calling her a bad name and to whom he finally makes the demand that she perform fellatio on him – all  because she expressed a differing opinion about something – was correct, after all.  Lest you think any of this is hyperbole, see this article with screen captures of the original post before it was deleted at this link right here. And, there’s more, including the original comments before those were deleted here: http://cuddlebuggery.com/blog/2013/04/15/buzz-worthy-news-15th-april-2013/

Note the commentary on page 2 of the comments at the Salon.com article,  wherein one of the author’s  legion of sycophantic defenders says that he wants a woman, who is bothered by Hugh Howey’s misogynistic rant, to be raped because it might do her “a world of good” – in other words, to teach her a lesson for expressing a differing opinion about something:

Commenter: Dylar
Date: Monday, Apr 15, 2013 04:02 PM EST

I thought long and hard about how best to respond to your posts, and I realized that what I’d really like—and what would be best for you under the circumstances—is for you to be raped.

Now, please understand that I don’t say this because of any sexual feeling or desire to exercise power on my part. Nor do I want to see you silenced, disempowered or devalued as a person or a woman. It’s just clear to me that you struggle with parsing and interpreting the words of others, and rather than standing by and watching you writhe in anguished futility, hamstrung by your own linguistic handicaps and tortured by internet trolls, I submit to you that a hands on demonstration of the difference between deed and word might do you a world of good.

Besides, it’ll give you a good story to tell at the survivors meetings, and provide you with a little more authenticity and street cred when you share your experiences and opinions with others. Really and truly, I have nothing but your best interests at heart.

Here’s hoping you have a truly wonderful day, lady!

What’s the deal with this?

I don’t have any answers for why this is happening now – or why it is happening, at all, for that matter. It seems like something that didn’t happen before a few years ago (apart from direct threats of rape). To me these instances, in which strange men bring up the subject of rape to a woman, seem like a subtle (indirect) threat of rape when they feel that a more direct one cannot be made.  It’s, also, disturbing that so many men are running around fantasizing about me or other women being gang raped or engaging in rape fantasies whenever they become angry with us (sometimes because we express an opinion about something that differs from theirs) or just angry, in general.

It seems to me that something in the culture has changed for the worse that this is now acceptable.  Unfortunately, I have no solution. I try to avoid places online where there is a culture of misogyny, although, sometimes you can get a nasty surprise in what, at first, looks like a safe place. For the sake of my health, sense of well-being and physical safety, I have just stopped talking to all but a couple of men who – so far – haven’t done this kind of thing to me.

 

Rant on Serial E-book Returners at Amazon

Posted in book piracy, copyright infringement, criminals, sociopathy with tags , , , , , , , on May 2, 2013 by The Solution
prison-cell

Jail Cell – This is the place fraudsters, pirates and other thieves belong!
Author Andrew Bardwell from Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Copyright::Creative Commons

This rant is specifically about serial returners of ebooks at Amazon.com – it’s not about returns of ebooks anywhere else or the return of paperbacks, because this is not much of a problem right now. But, the problem of serial ebook returners at Amazon is getting worse – despite an alleged crackdown on them in January this year.

What is a serial returner, you ask?

A serial returner is a habitual returner of retail merchandise – in this case, ebooks. They buy and return them, one after the other.

While there are legitimate reasons for returns, such as a defective product, there is no reason for someone to go through an entire author’s or publisher’s list, buying and returning books in succession.

Why are they doing this?

Like other criminally-minded people, they’re doing it because they can. And, they can because Amazon is allowing it to happen.

Serial returning is piracy and like all other pirates,  they are dishonest people who don’t mind committing fraud, especially if they can do it within Amazon’s Terms of Service and not get in any serious trouble.

Petition to  Stop E-book Refund Fraud at Amazon at Change.org

Authors upset about returns, in general, have signed a petition at Change.org requesting Amazon.com to, at least, stop taking returns on books that have been read. Although, it doesn’t specifically  address the problem of serial returners, who sometimes go through an author’s entire series of books in a set, buying and returning them, it’s something.

The following link goes to a very short article, called Return to Sender: Why Return Ebooks?, which is proceeded by a bunch of comments about the above petition. The article isn’t much, but some of the comments are interesting. Some justify this form of piracy just like pirates always justify their nefarious activities to the victims. They say, “Live with it!” – “It’s not really hurting you.” They, also, justify theft of books when they cannot afford them, although ebooks are extremely affordable (many between .99 and 2.99).

But, the best comment is # 14 by Ekatarina Sayanova who says:

“Returning an ebook because you don’t “like” it is promoting what essentially amounts to piracy. Whether or not you will like a story is the chance you take. Caveat emptor. Besides, you can download a free preview. If you buy the book after reading the preview and don’t like the book, tough. Get over it and move on.”

“The only valid reason to “return” an ebook would be if the file was corrupted and you were not able to access it on your ereader, or it did not display properly. A refund would be issued only if, after downloading the second file, the file still didn’t work properly. Because free previews are available, there is absolutely no reason to be permitted to return an ebook for a full refund.”

“Here’s what everyone is refusing to understand: Those returned books are resold and the author does not make a single penny on the resales. The sale of a copyrighted work without royalties paid to the author is piracy – plain and simple. Amazon gets away with it because of a loophole in the law or because they are (paraphrasing) “too big to prosecute”.”

“I’m an editor. I bust my professional rear end working with my author clients to get the best possible story out to the readers. I’m not a charity and cannot work for nothing. Those who complain about stories that need editing – guess what? Piracy is one of the reasons why authors (indy authors especially) sometimes can’t make enough to hire professional editors. (Don’t get me started on what small publishers charge authors for editing.) There is nothing we’d like better than to see to it that every ebook sold went out without errors and read as smooth as the finest brandy feels going down the throat. It isn’t going to happen if the author can’t make money because the work they sweat blood over is being sold without them getting compensation.”

“So, the next time you return that ebook because you don’t “like” it and you didn’t take the time to read the preview, or simply because you just don’t “like it” , or because you think you can get away with something, remember that book is someone’s livelihood. How would you like to put a year of your life into something and see it stolen out from under you? Hmmmmmm?”

“I didn’t think so.”

I just couldn’t have said it any better!