The following statement has been approved by our trial and defamation attorney.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Do not trust internet-only relationships.
There are a lot of disturbed individuals in the world and when we communicate on the internet, we lose our human perceptions by not being able to utilize our senses by using eye contact, body language, and how we feel being around a person. Get out and meet people first before giving anyone any part of yourself. Please be careful out there.
I hope that the experiences I have outlined in the last several blog posts regarding my internet harassment not only serve as a warning, but that something good can come out of what happened to me. I want to help people protect themselves as they may become vulnerable when reaching out to someone to talk to who may not have their best interests at heart. These suggestions I will be making may seem like no-brainers, but if you get involved in an internet-only relationship and you had a high level of trust for the other person, you may not recognize the dangers until it is too late.
I want to make an important point regarding the use of aliases in UFO research and especially in abduction research. I totally understand the need for people to use aliases when coming forward and talking about personal experiences. Since the time I was a MUFON State and Section Director, I talked with many people over many years from all walks of life who have had to face the stigma of coming forward to talk about their experiences, and it is never an easy decision to make. Each person must decide for themselves what they are comfortable with in speaking out either to their own families or in taking further steps and going public. I started out using my real name on the Alien Jigsaw website but changed to an alias due to the wishes of my family. I continued this practice myself when I began my internet blog because I was openly discussing personal experiences. These are never easy decisions to make and everyone has to decide what is best for them.
UFO witnesses deserve a voice without threats and intimidation. Witnesses may face ridicule from family and friends due to reporting their sighting or other types of unusual phenomena. Even telling a ghost story can bring snickers from listeners. But when threats and intimidation originate from within the UFO community itself, these people wield the laughter curtain like a weapon, and they certainly know how to use it. This behavior is wrong.
This is where the UFO laughter curtain can become deadly. If someone is using an alias to try to protect themselves and their families, it is only a matter of time before someone will use that information against the person using the alias. It happened to me and I know it has happened to other people. It seems a large portion of offenders who engage in this type of despicable behavior are people who are from within the UFO community itself -- even from those who claim to be compassionate "CE4 researchers." Refer to my blog post "The UFO Laughter Curtain from within the UFO Community" to review the attacks that can happen to anyone who has the courage to go public with their experiences. By hiding behind Anonymous, these contemptible attackers feel they can release any personal information they want to. These individuals are too arrogant to realize that this is not a fool-proof method of avoiding detection. In my case, one of my paintings that I entrusted to this "CE4 researcher", which was a self-portrait, was distorted in a hideous way to harass me publically on the internet.
As an aside, the original version of this painting was displayed in an art gallery that was a feature of the 1997 MUFON International Symposium. Nobody can take away the fond memory I have of Budd Hopkins commenting on my painting and how much he liked it. He wanted to know who the artist was and I was extremely flattered. I'll always remember that compliment given to me by a proven high-caliber artist who took an interest in my work. He appreciated the sentiment and heart-felt expression I put into the piece.
Get to know people in person before revealing anything about yourself. Yes, I know. It’s common sense just like most of these points are that I am going to make. I guess it's kind of like us looking at cult members and wondering how they can get so easily fooled into falling into a bad situation. Before talking to anyone who claims to be a "CE4 researcher," take extra care to verify their identity and background. Do not trust the fact there may be books written or endorsements by other researchers. They may not know the full story behind these individuals.
You should be able to look people in the eye and confirm they are the type of individual they claim to be. Just because you meet with someone physically doesn't guarantee that you won't get hurt, but psychologist Albert Mehrabian demonstrated that 93% of communication is nonverbal in his 1971 published paper titled Nonverbal Communication. We get all sorts of visual cues from direct physical communication with another person. When you are sharing private details of your life of any kind, take the time and get comfortable with the person first. Are they a true friend or not? While this is still no guarantee, taking your time with a direct visual one-on-one relationship with the person will improve your odds against failure.
If you talk with anyone about anything that is of a sensitive nature to you, you must verify their identity before you do so. I don't care if you have to look at their ID. I'm not kidding. If you are working with anyone who claims to be a CE4 investigator you must be extremely cautious. You should be cautious of any type of investigator lacking proper ID and credentials. If someone is taking personal materials from you, then you have a right to verify their identity and contact information.
This contact information includes a phone number and a verified address, not just a post office box. You also deserve references. These references should include full names and contact information in case you need help getting in touch with the person to whom you are confiding your personal materials. These references should be available to answer any questions you might have. Emails and post office boxes are not good enough. If something goes wrong and these people cut off all contact with you, well, you can see what can happen just by reading my previous posts about what happened to me.
Do not give any personal materials to anyone to be posted on another website unless you have full contact information for the people running that website. If you do allow someone to post any of your materials, there should be an agreement as to how the materials will be posted and what options you have if you become uncomfortable with the situation. This agreement should be in writing and in my opinion it should go beyond email agreements.
If you post anything online, whether it is on someone else's website or your own, understand what your rights are. Educate yourself in proper blog and web etiquette and I recommend you get an attorney if you post artwork of any kind. Any legal advice should come from an attorney.
Written statements in emails promising confidentiality are meaningless unless they are from a licensed professional such as a therapist or an attorney.
Do these "researchers" feel comfortable communicating with their family about what they are doing? Do these researchers hide behind multiple screen names and aliases? If these researchers are not comfortable having any kind of verifiable public status, they have no business taking anyone's personal materials. I want to make an important distinction here. I am not talking about someone who is taking an alias to protect themselves and their family in order to talk about their personal experiences.
If you start to feel uncomfortable in any way with a relationship, don't wait, but get out of it. If you feel something is wrong, it probably is. Do what you have to do to get free. It does get better.
If you experience online harassment you must obtain an attorney to help you through the process. They will tell you what to do, what steps to take, what your options are, and when it is time to make a police report. Collect all the evidence you can. Do not post anything online regarding the harassment without consulting with your attorney. Follow the law because the situation can escalate to the point of further legal action. Do what you have to in order to protect yourself and your family.
I hope my story helps someone else. Please educate yourself and be aware of the dangers I have outlined and learn from what I have endured. I still find it hard to believe all of these events that I have described actually happened to me, but they did. I'll never understand much of it and I can't fully comprehend the astonishingly negative behaviors.
Yet, I have come out of darkness in so many ways.
Personally, I learned a great deal about a great many things since this whole bizarre story started. I learned a great number of things I was not expecting, and some things that truly shocked me. I learned a lot about cyberstalking, cyberbullying, internet harassment, and the tactics the perpetrators use. No matter how horrible a situation might be in life, we learn from those experiences and we grow from them. That's what life is - with both the good and the bad. I discard the bad and move on with the good to grow the spirit and soar onward to better things. That's what we all do every day and I hope by sharing my story, it can help someone else in some way.