Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Today, I read a post at Gawker by Max Read, titled How We Got Rolled by the Dishonest Fascists of Gamergate.
On one occasion, according to deadspin.com, several gamers discussed how good it would be to drive one woman to commit suicide, but they decided not to do it because it would be the wrong PR play. On another, they persuaded Intel to stop advertising on Gamasutra, a gaming site that has criticized them and their tactics.
Now they are attempting to do the same thing to Gawker for criticizing them.
As I read the article, I realized that Crane and I have been hounded and slimed with similar tactics used by the dishonest fascists of Gamergate. They specialize in threatening women with rape and murder and carrying out coordinated attacks against them by intentionally disseminating false information calculated to destroy their reputations and ability to earn a living.
At the end of August, Nikko, Crane and I were forced to flee for our lives. We abandoned most of our stuff because we did not have the time or money to pack it up and move it. For approximately a month, we were out of touch living in motels, limited to occasionally blogging from various WiFi hotspots. We are settling into a new place with new secure computers and far from Kentucky.
We left because our locked apartment was repeatedly burglarized by people familiar with our comings and goings who somehow had obtained a set of keys. They even intercepted our mail. Over a lengthy period of time, they gradually stole all of Crane’s legal files, her Frog Gravy manuscript, and my law school teaching files. They stole photographs and letters from family members. They stole property and vandalized property they did not steal, including , three microwaves, six computers, and all of our books. We had several valuable first editions that they ruined, opening and pouring coffee on the pages.
They hacked into our computers, monitored everything we did, and infected them with viruses, malware and root kits rendering the computers inoperable. They stole hard drives and memory cards. They stole wallets, and hacked into our bank account.
All of this happened gradually over a period of time, so gradual that we scarcely noticed anything and when we did, we usually blamed each other. When a computer ceased to function, we assumed something had broken and replaced it.
The malicious behavior spiked during the summer after Crane and I published articles exposing her lawyer’s cooperation with the prosecuting attorney to rig the outcome of her trial, and I stated we were going to write about the Kentucky State Crime Laboratory next.
Several days later, Crane was threatened with rape and murder. We started connecting dots and searched our apartment discovering most of the thefts and vandalism that I have described. During that search we found some evidence that the Paducah Police Department and Kentucky State Police had been in our apartment, however, we could not determine when or whether the property we found had been left by someone not in law enforcement. The intruders left brown paper bags, disposable gloves and hair nets, as if they had been collecting ‘evidence’ to submit for testing. At one point, even a hairbrush was taken.
We are whistleblowers and whistleblowers are public enemy number one. Corruption is rampant in the legal system in Paducah, so much so, that we suspect it is institutional and multigenerational. We decided not to go to the police because we suspect they are involved or were involved.
A few days before we left, I noticed that a picture on the wall next to Crane’s side of the bed was hanging crookedly. When I attempted to straighten it out, I discovered a large hole in the wall that appeared to have been made with a sledgehammer.
The bed also was a little out of position and when I looked at it more closely I discovered that the mattress and the carpet beneath my side of the bed had been slashed, repeatedly.
We left town as soon as possible leaving no forwarding address.
While all of this stuff was going on, we were being subjected online to a campaign of unceasing vicious personal attacks by people calling us crack heads. Crane was called a whore and prostitute. I was called a failed lawyer who had been disbarred. I also was blamed for the demise of the law school even though I blew the whistle on the wrongdoers. Our address and telephone number was posted on line.
Websites containing my name were created to divert web traffic and warn people that I was an evil fraud. Unspeakably vile things were said about me. I have been falsely accused of everything from a child molester to a serial killer. I have even been accused of falsely pretending to be me. People masquerading as me posted idiotic, racist and sexist slurs at sites like the Huffington Post. I don’t know the half of it because I naively ignored what was going on.
Although the damage our haters and stalkers have caused is incalculable, we do not believe it is irreparable. The experience has made us stronger.
Crane and I are not feeling like victims or looking for sympathy. We are in a much better place today and delighted to be safely out of Paducah.