Archive for bullies

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 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
Adolf_Hitler_1937

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 Kindleboards or Kboards Writer’s Cafe and a Warning to Authors

Posted in crazy people, narcissism, trolls, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2013 by The Solution
Snake_warning_sign

Warning: Poisonous Snakes!
Image is copyrighted CC: Image information: Flickr
Author Matt Frederick from USA
Reviewer KenWalker

Since things have really blown up over at Kboards (fomerly Kindleboards) Writer’s Cafe on a big long thread with a lot of drama, it seems like the warning issued about this site in the previous blog post (Rant on Nuts in Writing Forums) was not strong enough.

The main danger of this site to any independent author or publisher is that it appears to be a perfectly legitimate place to get help, information and to possibly interact with other indies. But, this is a veneer and a very thin one at that.

The recent blow up, which was started by none other than one of the moderators, is nothing new. Like any forum, it goes through some ups and downs, but certain characteristics remain a constant there, even when the waters appear calm on the surface.

These characteristics are evidenced in their latest rumble in which they expelled a member suspected of trying to lure female posters into discussions about abuse.  It resulted in some long-time members leaving. This is not news, but part of a pattern of sexism at this forum where men have been allowed to call women revolting names and the subject of rape is brought up regularly in response to… well, almost anything, at all.

Posters voiced their complaints about feeling uncomfortable with others who engaged in stalking behavior and regularly discuss disturbing ideas that feed their sexual fetishes.

A lot of the thread, which is very long, included material that was deleted by the moderators. One of the posts that seems to have been deleted criticized the moderators for starting the thread in the first place. After all, if there is a moderation problem, that’s a problem for the moderators and should be dealt with as quietly as possible so as not to create a huge explosion. One can only conclude that the moderators must enjoy the drama.

Another poster who complained of being stalked around the board was brushed off by the moderators until a final post on the subject of bullying resulted in that poster being threatened. The moderators quickly erased a couple of pages of material related to that. Overall, women and LGBT posters seem to be the ones most likely to complain of discomfort at the site or report feeling attacked.

The following quote from a poster there called “Spirit Flame” sums up the culture of this board with regard to bullying of new members: “Moderators will take a holiday and only lock the thread once one of the bigger regular KB members are directly attacked. They won’t protect you unless your part of the established clique here. They will even make tidy the posts to protect the guilty, much like those people in movies.” (Reference: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,122087.msg1816232.html#msg1816232)

Other complaints about the forum include too much emphasis on promotion and gaming the system. For example, authors sometimes request the help of posters there to push their books up in Amazon rankings. If you’re part of the in-crowd there, this probably works, but if you’re not, it would surely backfire very badly!

Posters who have made the mistake of advertising themselves there must tread on eggshells not to incur the wrath of the others. The moderators have a god-like status. To question a moderator will immediately bring the wrath of their worshipful following down on your head. They started their own thread about their poor job of moderation and expressed surprise when they were questioned and criticized. This is a sin for which posters are made to pay. Generally, they are just made so uncomfortable that they leave and do not return. Nearly all of these things can be seen embodied in just this one thread, except for the parts they expunged, which included criticism of them and a threat to one of the posters. What a fiasco!

Now, imagine for a moment that you went wide-eyed into this forum thinking it was the friendly, helpful place it seems to be. If you shared information about yourself and your work everything might have gone along fine for a little while until one of the favored posters there took a dislike to something you said. After that, you may be stalked around the board and have an increasing number of posters attack you. Now, you have a problem if you have allowed these people to know where to find your books. Many posters have picked up stalkers from this board. This was widely reported in the spring of 2012 when there was a great exodus of erotica writers, mostly women, who were being stalked, ridiculed and treated abusively by forum members.

The Writer’s Cafe at Kboard (Kindleboards) is a good place to study narcissists and see examples of narcissistic behavior. Narcissists look for people in whom they see a weakness to prey upon; they have an excessive need to be admired and have grandiose perceptions of themselves; and narcissists see themselves everywhere, so if you post about something there, you’ll notice a number of people will say that it is about them. They may accuse you of talking about them, even when you don’t know them and have never heard of them before.  They worship themselves and when they get in a pack, they worshipfully praise one another

The Writer’s Cafe at Kboards should be avoided at all costs by any serious writer. The same can be said of GoodReads, which is another place where writers are encouraged to post their work, post about it and interact with readers. It quickly becomes a playground for narcissists and narcissists aren’t just nuts, they’re very dangerous nuts as you can see from previous posts that discuss Vanity Authors and the dangers of Writer’s Forums.

It’s always good to take caution in forums not to disclose too much information about yourself. But, when it comes to this forum, it is probably best avoided altogether. There is nothing to be learned there, unless, of course, you are making a study of narcissistic personality disorder.

Read other articles warning of the dangers of this forum:

(Link added on 2/7/2014) – It looks like another regular poster may have dropped out of the forum after complaining about being targeted.  If I recall, this poster was one of the people who foolishly posted income figures there (although, it appears that may not be the only problem). Now, I don’t think I should have to tell anyone with two functioning brain cells to rub together why publicly bragging about your income or sales figures is a bad idea, but that was, also, a recent topic of discussion there and most of the posters were all for it! Yeah, they’re a bunch of professionals – professional comedians!!! Here’s the link: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,177757.0.html   – and if you still don’t think that forum is a scary place, check this article out, especially the nastiness in the comment section: http://www.bigskywords.com/writing-blog/should-you-sue-your-ebook-reviewers

(Update of 2/8/2014) The above thread continues to grow along with the hypocrisy. They’ve, also, added a “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” thread – yeah, that’s a good question.  “Why are We Such a Bunch of Hypocrites?” would be better. In this new thread, the mods pretend they have no idea that a particular author, who the veterans there know not to name outright (the old-timers know what they can & can’t get away with) – Greg Strandberg – has been attacked repeatedly. He’s been called a variety of names in his absence on the first thread above. As always, a mod says, if you have a problem with someone here, report it (a little Nazi-style authoritarian system they have there) and we’ll take care of it. Well, okay – one of your anointed calls him a “dickweed,” at least, twice here and then he’s called “skeevy” here for posting the above-linked article on the wisdom of suing reviewers at his personal website.   And, then a few more people piled on… but, I guess this doesn’t constitute any kind of personal attack on a single poster there… right? Well, if the mods and the regular posters there say it doesn’t, then you can be sure it doesn’t.

Strandberg, predictably, is also being attacked by Kboards Writer’s Cafe regulars at his own blog. who are chastizsing him and giving all kinds of unsolicited advice on what he should do. This is so typical.  How dare he express an opinion about something that differs from that of the narcissistic/sycophantic herd! He has my deepest sympathy.

A whole bunch of the usual tormenters’ hideous faces are showing up on this thread.  And, at least, a couple of these people admit in their posts that they are not doing well – really have little if anything to contribute to any discussion about success at publishing or writing.  (Of course, they don’t – because they spend their time hanging out on this board – just lying in wait like a spider in a web – for the purpose of attacking anyone who they perceive as having a modicum of success. That’s exactly what happened to me.) There is a certain long-standing core group there who seems to thrive on any kind of strife. They get a psychopathic joy out of causing pain in new posters who wander in who are already dealing with a problem – – be it a writing or publishing problem or being harassed by others at the forum and they just pile on top one after the other.

Here’s an idea for the Kboards Writer’s Cafe people: Maybe treat everybody who wanders into your forum to ask a question about publishing or writing with some basic respect and not TARGET them and not, dear moderators, ALLOW and PARTICIPATE in the mobbing behavior that regularly goes on at your forum. Okay – group hug, now…

(Link added on 5/15/2013) – This is someone else’s excellent rant on Writer’s Cafe Kboards in which the author likens participating in the forum to attempting “to swim with starving sharks”:  http://thebigrant-matt.blogspot.com/2013/01/kindle-boards-suck.html

(Link added on 5/9/2013)  http://sapphicscribe.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/tell-it-like-it-is-tuesday-april-writers-room-101/

(Link added on 5/9/2013)  http://cyberxtasy.com/kboards-good-or-bad-for-writers/

http://www.danielmedley.com/writers-are-a-bunch-of-bitchy-little-girls/

Update added on May 8, 2013: The article about Kboard Writer’s Cafe, entitled “I Quit Kindleboards’ Writer’s Cafe Today,”  linked to below has been altered a couple of times now by the author since I first posted the link. The original version discussed the culture of the Writer’s Cafe Kboards forum. You’ll find snippets from the original in a couple of the articles linked to above and an excerpt from it in the form of a cropped screenshot is preserved below, in which the author writes, “I’ve never been in a writer’s group before which was so hostile to talking about writing.  It was clear when I joined that a lot of people wanted to talk about writing, but were afraid to.”  The author of the blog, who goes by, “The Daring Novelist” and “Camille LaGuire,” seems to be upset that I linked to it as you can see from the comments below, which I regarded as an attempt to intimidate me. Linking to an an article on the web is not copyright infringement and another person sharing their experience and opinion about something that differs from yours is not a reason to request a link to be removed.

The original article spoke well for itself, but the author,  first deleted it, replaced it with a second version, then deleted that one and then erected another in which the author is unprovokedly rude toward yours truly. Note: I do not know this person either online or IRL. I only very briefly interacted with anyone at the Kboards Writer’s Cafe over the course of a few weeks prior to the time the events I describe above took place. I don’t stick around anywhere there is abusive behavior going on, especially when it’s directed at me. I found the article linked to below just like I find most of the others I link to in my articles, which is by doing a search at Google. I found it while searching for the terms, “Kindleboards Writer’s Cafe” and “hostility.”

This person’s behavior is pretty typical of my short-lived experience with other long-time members of Kboards Writer’s Cafe forum: If you post about a writing or publishing-related experience there, such as copyright infringement, piracy or traditional publishing or if – God forbid! – you rightly criticize something about the forum, and one of the regular, active posters takes offense (yes, offense to your experience!), you will be harassed – only there, it’s by a mob.  That is what happened to me.

Furthermore, I have observed over the course of more than two years as an occasional lurker there and in other writer’s forums that lots of people have had big problems at the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards – I’ve told my experience and I’ve told some of what I saw go on. I told the whole story above in third person for my protection and I think it’s clear why it’s important to protect yourself from such people.  My blogpost reflects my experience and my opinions –  and it might save other people some grief – so, it is going to stay right here!

Why this person seemed to take such personal offense to my simply placing a link at the bottom of an article on a related subject and why they have gone to so much trouble deleting and altering their original article because of my blog, which gets very few readers, I don’t know. But, there are people who simply cannot tolerate a differing opinion or even the expression of a different experience, which is something I talk about in numerous other blogposts here.

Here’s the link to the Daring Novelist’s current version of the article, “I Quit Kindleboards’ Writer’s Cafe Today” (as of May 9, it was altered, again, and re-titled, “KBoards Rocks – (was I Quit Kindleboards’ Writers Cafe Today)” Very weird!):

http://daringnovelist.blogspot.com/2011/07/i-quit-kindleboards-today.html

In the above current version, the author expresses gladness at me (and other women posters) being bullied (and one of us threatened) off the forum.  I have no idea how bullying women posters off the forum –  women who have had rape brought up to them over and over again by male posters for no reason and who were the victims of being lured into conversations about sexual abuse by perverts is a good thing.  But, again, this is typical of  the kind of invalidation and victim-blaming I experienced and observed going on there.

The following related posts were added to this blog in February 2014:

Rant on Nuts in Writing Forums

Posted in book piracy, copyright, copyright infringement, crazy people, criminals, misogyny, popular culture, sexism, society, trolls, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2013 by The Solution
Nuts

Nuts: What you will often find in online forums

Forum culture is not what it used to be.  It’s very different from the way it was back in the 1980s and 1990s. Back then, it was a lot more anonymous and a lot more civilized.

It seems like less anonymity would make people behave better, knowing that literally anyone could see their information – their faces even sometimes – and attach it to their behavior. But, it seems like since the days of MySpace (when people were first asked all kinds of invasive personal questions to join a social web site) things have gotten a lot worse online, in general, and in forums, in particular.

Now, you might think that a forum dedicated to the subject of something like writing and publishing would be pretty civilized. You’d expect that authors would not want to put their bad, abusive, nutty behavior on display right next to their names, images of their books with links to sales pages, links to their web sites and sometimes even their faces.  But, if you ever venture into the Writer’s Cafe at Kboards (formerly called Kindleboards), a site devoted mainly to the Kindle, but with a section for writers called “Writer’s Cafe,” you might be surprised at what goes on.

It is a  haven for nuts!

Every so often they have threads of interests to writers and self-publishers. But, many posters there complain that they are attacked when they post about certain subjects like traditional publishing or copyright infringement. New posters are often treated with less respect than established members of what they call their “community.”   Consequently, many new members come and if they are mistreated, they quickly leave and do not come back.

If you enjoy lots of drama and watching people make fools of themselves, Writer’s Cafe at Kboards is the place. Here is an example of how the moderators there run the show: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,145383.0.html#.UUpN2ze8gsI

Other forums for writers and publishers, which may be more beneficial depending on your needs:

Absolute Write Water Cooler  (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/) This forum is very diverse. When you post here, pay special attention to the different sub-division of forums and keep the discussion within that range of subjects. For instance, do not praise the virtues of independent publishing in the sections devoted to traditional publishing.

WritersCafe.org (www.writerscafe.org) This is not the Kboards (Kindleboards) Writer’s Cafe! This site is very good for fiction writers who want to discuss the art of writing, itself.

KDP Community Support (https://kdp.amazon.com/community/forumindex.jspa) For those who publish on the Kindle Digital Platform, through your dashboard, you have access to the KDP community. This is a very helpful group, especially when you’re just beginning or if you have any kind of technical or account-related questions.

Another forum is WattPad’s Industry Insider Forum for Writers: http://www.wattpad.com/forums/categories/32-club

All forums have nuts. Not all forums are as nutty as others. Some are more serious-minded and are the best places to post about a particular subject. The above four have been most beneficial to me, personally.

Some nuts are harmless, but some can be dangerous. Even though you may feel safe at home behind your keyboard, forums can present a danger.

Therefore, when you use forums, remain anonymous. If you are an author, don’t give details about your business, your location or your books. For example, don’t use your real name, don’t post pictures of yourself or your children, don’t post pictures of your books with links (like you are encouraged to do at Kboards). Many people have learned the dangers of nuts in forums the hard way. They’ve been stalked, their sales pages have been trolled and they’ve had a lot of other problems. Simply being there with a picture of yourself (especially if you area woman), could cause you a problem. You can suddenly begin having problems with someone because you posted about something someone else doesn’t like – narcissists see themselves in everything you say and may take offense to something not directed anywhere near them. Then, they may stalk you. If you do not have any personal information about yourself anywhere, they will be limited to stalking you at that forum.

Keep in mind that some moderators are nuts, too. And,  you never really know who they are. For example, the moderators at the Kboards (Kindleboards) Writer’s Cafe are all volunteers. They’re nobody special and they likely have no special qualifications to be volunteer moderators. Moderators set the tone of a forum, just like managers set the tone at a business. If you have nutty, narcissistic moderators, you may, also, find a collection of nutty, narcissistic posters.

If you happen to go to a forum where the moderators are unstable and you sign up using your e-mail address, they may be able to see that information, even if you make it private. If you send private emails to other posters, they can see those. If a forum moderator (at any forum) turns out to be unstable, they have information with which they can stalk you. When you sign up for your forum accounts, do not use your main email account. You can get temporary email accounts at www.hush.com, which will usually work just fine. Again, don’t sign up for an account that contains your name or anything that would help them identify you. Protect yourself.

If you look at the Kboards Writer’s Cafe forum link above (it’s a big kerfuffle involving a litany of complaints by posters about behaviors on the forum, including some very disturbing ones), you can see why you might not want to disclose your gender or sexual orientation, especially if it is different from either straight or male. That particular forum has a history of allowing men with sexually aberrant behaviors to remain on the site, despite complaints. This is just an example, of course, these people could be at any forum and you will be safer if you do not disclose gender or sexual orientation at any of them.

In fact, there’s really no need for them to know anything about you, ie. marital status, creed, race, nationality, religion, lack thereof, etc.

The best thing to do when you go to a forum is ask your question. Thank people if they give you good advice and get out. Avoid the places that are high drama.  Most of the people who get involved in the high drama are not going to help you with your writing or publishing efforts. If you find yourself having to “ignore” a lot of posters who are harassing you, be advised that just ignoring some people (for example, narcissists) only makes them more aggressive.  So, the “ignore them” advice that you’ll inevitably get if you should have a problem with a nut in a forum doesn’t work.  It may work in the short-term, but it won’t’ work for long.

Look for the forums that seem to have the most successful people and give you the most benefit.