Firstly apologies. I promise this will be absolutely the last time I blog about internet adversaries, I know it is tedious to read, almost as tedious as it is to endure, but I really need to get this off my chest and then hopefully we can all move on and get some sort of closure. It seems pathetic, but actually this is causing me considerable real life distress. For those who say, it’s only the internet, yes, that’s right up to a point, but given how much we all seem to rely on the internet these days, it does have an ability to impact on real-life, an internet spat can affect one’s moods which then has the potential to affect relationships with real-life loved ones, which of course are the only ones with true authenticity and value.
Pull up a chair. *Puts on Max Bygraves voice*. Let me tell you a story.
All of this is put together from forum boards, blogposts, emails, twitter updates, I have the relevant copies and screenshots of all which can be provided as evidence if required.
Let’s go back a few years to February 2009. I was expecting my second daughter and suffering the usual ill-effects and symptoms of pregnancy. I logged onto an innocuous pregnancy and baby forum, which contains on-line Ante Natal Clubs for women at a similar stage in pregnancies to share some fellowship and support. These clubs are wonderful places of support and encouragement out of which some very close, deep and lasting friendships have been formed. The same site has a discussion board, for general discussion topics, normally current affairs and things in the media.
After having a look for some time. I tentatively decided to join in a few threads. It didn’t go well. The first one was about the wickedness of the Catholic Church in their doctrine on contraception, following the pope’s remarks on a visit to Africa. Another one was about same sex parenting. This was the first ever time I had joined in any sort of online discussion and frankly was not prepared. I weighed in some apologetics which I thought were gentle and reasonable, and was met by a level of aggression that simply knocked me off my feet. One poster, who called herself Rachelsmammy staggered me with her method of “debate”. She would post whole paragraphs in bold black type and capitals, and very quickly resorted to personal attack. “YOU could take Caroline to the sub-sahara and make her look into the faces of dying women and babies, and she wouldn’t CARE. SHE WOULD BLAME THEM FOR BEING SLUTS”.
I don’t really need to say any more, other than it struck me that here was a very angry and aggressive person. Over time I got to know the rest of the regular posters many of whom were very friendly and supportive. Rachelsmammy – Lisa Ansell had her membership of the site revoked, so the moderators informed me because of her aggression and bullying, which upset quite a few vulnerable women. She had something of a reputation for feistiness.
I was then invited to join an offshoot group, a private FaceBook forum which was un-moderated, completely private in which women could discuss a lot of things that they didn’t want to be found on a public arena or by a google search. Women would discuss things like miscarriages, family problems, marital breakdowns, all sorts of issues in what felt like a supportive and non-judgemental environment. Very often people would just vent. “My bl**dy mother in law has just done xyz” etc, it was like the online equivalent of tea and cake.
Occasionally some anti-Catholic stuff would come up, sometimes I think people thought they’d bait me for a bit of fun and of course I am notoriously bad at being able to let things go. I can’t bear it when I see utter fallacies and what is little more than ignorant prejudice there in front of me, in black and white and that’s when it would get sticky. My uncompromising stance on abortion and my faith meant I came in for huge amounts of stick, I was a homophobe, lacking in compassion and so on and so forth.
Lisa Ansell was briefly a member at the same time, but left after a falling out. I went through a very difficult time, I was pregnant, sick, my contract of employment wasn’t renewed probably due to the fact I’d been signed off sick for a month, I don’t blame them, I was unreliable, I couldn’t look at a screen for long periods of time and was not as productive as I could have been. The site was a great source of support and at times I vented and said things that with retrospect I should well have kept to myself. Nothing on the internet is ever private, and given that Lisa had been such an adversary of mine, some of her friends who shared her sentiments, fed back some of my difficulties with glee and relish. Somehow people thought that by being married to a then Church of England vicar, and taking a strong Catholic stance on things, I was therefore moralising and being sanctimonious, setting myself up as being better than them and seized on the proof of any imperfection with relish.
As any clergy will tell you we are not perfect, nor do we claim to be. At the time of posting, I hadn’t been married all that long, every newlywed couple experiences bumps and we were having one such bump, adjusting to the realities of married live and living together, not having previously co-habited, I was pregnant and sick pretty quickly and Robin was getting used to realities of sharing a house and living with someone 24 hours a day (working from home as he did) and adjusting his routine to the demands of family life. He’d been a batchelor for the past 36 years. Actually this is all wonderful pastoral experience which should prove enormously helpful in any future ministry.
One of the issues that I discussed was the difficulties of NFP. With a young baby and an imminent move on the horizon, bear in mind we were asked to keep quiet his forthcoming resignation for 6 months, it really was not a good idea to be conceiving another. We had no idea where we were going to live, whether or not he would get a job, whether we’d have enough money to survive, how the parishioners would take his resignation, we were concerned about causing a lot of hurt to a community who had been so supportive, when we got married their generosity and unequivocal welcome was over-whelming. It was so difficult for Robin to continue to carry out his pastoral duties and responsibilities, when he felt in effect that he was living a lie, that his heart lay over the Tiber. Worst still was booking in events for the next year or taking wedding and baptism enquiries. We were under a lot of strain. Because the forum was not Catholic, no-one understood my decision to use NFP, I came in for a lot criticism and condemnation, even after I conceived Felicity. One of the things that I had discussed was how tempting the idea of traditional contraception was in many ways. “Just do it and don’t tell him” I was urged. I admitted I was tempted, but also stated very clearly that I could never ever contracept behind my husband’s back, it would be like every time we made love I’d be telling a lie. It would prove enormously damaging to our relationship, particularly were it ever to be discovered.
In the end I left the forum because I needed specific Catholic support, not to feel constantly on the defensive, and I was pretty hurt that people I’d considered my friends and who I had respected, opined that I was mentally ill, that I had cognitive dissonance and that they couldn’t take me seriously as I was told what to do by a bloke in a frock in Rome.
During the time I was a member, Robin had gone on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, when my second baby was 5 months old, something that had been booked for and paid for in advance by the parishioners as a 10th anniversary ordination gift. There was no way I could go and I didn’t resent him the opportunity, it turned out he worked for the entire pilgrimage assisting the Catholic priest, preaching homilies, doing the admin and so on, but it was still very hard. He went the day of my birthday, leaving that evening, having spent the weekend in a flurry of packing and also organising the Annual Parish Church Meeting, which he had to attend the morning of his departure, so as one might imagine, it was a hectic weekend and my birthday was a total wash-out.
This was April 2010, a few weeks before the General Election and in the evening of my birthday, children finally in bed, I logged on for a bit of on-line company. There was a discussion about the Election and I mentioned that I was being influenced by the declaration of conscience launched by George Carey. All of a sudden Lisa Ansell launched in from nowhere and went absolutely ballistic, shouting, hectoring, calling me names and so on and so forth. Look, I said, it’s my birthday, I’m a bit miserable, lay off. “Boo fucking hoo” was her response and the thread ran into pages and pages and pages of her invective and abuse. Basically she laid into me for absolutely everything. I was just this very evil, nasty woman who had to be stopped. She hated the fact that I’d done some listening for women who had been victims of abortion, she decided that I must be manipulating and hurting women, she trotted out lurid stories of women being shut in a room and forced to handle models of tiny foetuses to make them feel guilty and so on and so forth. Who do you work for she demanded. Who? Who? Who? Someone must tell me, I WILL find out. She googled Care Confidential in Brighton and decided it was them. It isn’t. Does your employer know about your pro-life views she demanded. If they are as impartial as you say then you are LYING to them, and I will ring them up and tell them and if you aren’t I WILL EXPOSE THEM as employing a person like YOU. Of course she utterly missed the point, I was never employed I was a volunteer. She also threatened to phone up my husband’s bishop, who I should imagine would have just laughed at her , if i didn’t stop the pro-life work and tell everyone what an abusive sh*t she thought my husband was.
Such was the force of her aggression, she copied and pasted emails she’d received from her friends telling her what a hateful and despicable person I was, how I always play the victim, to make me realise that absolutely everyone hated me, I didn’t have a friend in the world. Some of her friends phoned me to apologise for her behaviour, the sentiment was look, Lisa has an awful time in life, really bad, she’s very angry, she’s got a heart of gold, just don’t take it too badly, she means really well, but doesn’t know when to stop. One of her best friends who doesn’t live too far away, took the trouble to come to the Rectory to check that I was alright. There I was, on my own, with a very young baby, with a stream of threats and invective. Private information was going to be twisted against me to suit her particular feminist, pro-choice cause.
It blew over, there was a strange episode last September where Lisa made a brief reappearance on the forum, was incredibly rude, upset almost everyone, called stay at home mothers scrounging whores, saved a special bit of abuse for another person with whom she had previously been friendly but turned against, stating that this person, stayed at home with her children whilst her husband worked, was a scrounger. She knew that this person had claimed the child benefit that she was entitled to, worked out how much she must have received and screamed at her that she had stolen x amount from the taxpayer and not paid it back. Such was the level of her vitriol and threats towards this other person, that they felt compelled to publicly own up to having been the victim of a sexual assault earlier in the year which she had discussed in a separate group of which Lisa had been a member. She was terrified that this information was suddenly going to be twisted and used against her, that she felt the need to ‘confess’. Of course she received unequivocal support and everyone felt so dreadful that she had felt compelled to go public with this information. During this time, Lisa sent me a string of bizarre Facebook messages, saying I do like you really, look here’s my telephone number, write it down, look write it down, you can always come and stay with me if things get difficult for you at home, I have a bed and a cot. All very sweet, she obviously thought there was some sort of a problem, I think she thinks I’m being emotionally abused and brainwashed as no sensible Catholic could possibly have these views. I ignored.
Then, it all calmed down for a while, until the start of the ordinariate earlier this year. Lisa tweeted “Five good men have not left the Church of England, but five twats have left to go to the Catholic Church where twats are perfectly acceptable”. On one level she’s right, we are a Church, all sinners are welcome. She was taken to task on this by the very respected blogger Splinter Sunrise, who comes from Belfast, has experienced the troubles first hand and knows that kind of sectarianism is what gives rise to bullets in the head. I’ve never met Splinter, although I hope to soon, nonetheless she accused me of setting “your weird Catholic mates on me”. Obviously I am the only possible person who may object to any of her sentiments, no-one else could, so I am powerful enough to instruct people to have a go at her on my behalf.
Lisa informed Splinter that if he didn’t leave her alone, she would tell him all about me and my hypocrisy which would help no-one but that she would have no other choice. I then received an email from Rachel, one of Lisa’s friends who I’d previously liked enormously, saying look Caroline, you have an awful lot on your plate at the moment, don’t mention Lisa ever on twitter, she has no off button, I have no idea what she would do and really you don’t need the stress. I took the message, although I felt it was a little sinister nonetheless.
Then at the new year I had all that trouble with a fellow Twitter user, who incidentally expressed a lot of respect for Lisa, saying “hey look my friend has really politicised me” and who, by the looks of things, was trying to follow in her footsteps. Said user (I won’t give her real name) took umbrage at a comment I’d made on Twitter regarding the abolition of EMA (I’d said something like my children would never miss out on FE as a result of not receiving it, they won’t, we would go without to make sure that they had everything they need) she misconstrued it and tweeted about the fact that they had private trust funds. I blocked her, thinking that I could do without that kind of comment and she went off one posting about my wealthy lifestyle and that of my children. But we’ve had that saga already. I repeat, I no idea of this woman’s email address or home address so how I am supposed to have stalked and threatened her is beyond me.
So, after that, I then had the whole thing with the mummies from Babyworld getting disproportionately angry because I’d got a bit fed up with some of their comments about “you can’t tell me whether or not Jesus was a breast or a bum man”, telling me I’d made my daughter illegitimate and posted here, on my blog about it, in an act of extreme hypocrisy.
This is the thing with my blog. I might well use it to get some things off my chest. People might be interested and sympathise, they might think I’m playing the pity victim or they might not. Normally when I’m fed up I write a long post and just the act of writing it down is therapeutic and curative. It’s cathartic. I always feel so much better when I’ve got it off my chest. What I have not been prepared for, because actually I am quite sensitive, is the level of vitriol and hate out there on the net. Although I am feisty and I don’t suffer fools gladly, I do not engage in underhand tactics, trolling behaviour (I have someone at the moment attempting to ape me on a website) and nor do I launch into personal insults and invective. I may sometimes snap, I don’t have the patience or forbearance of a saint, but usually if I’ve been intemperate or unwise, I admit it, apologise, try to learn and move on from that. I do try to treat others on line as I would like to be treated and thus it would not occur to me to persistently pester someone’s blog to tell them quite what an evil person they are. Nor would I dish out abuse.
I endured huge amounts from the mummies who were terribly upset that their remarks had been taken out of context, but some of the remarks didn’t need contextualising. The amount of grief was totally disproportionate and to be honest I still don’t get quite what was heinous about C&Ping some remarks that had really wound me up on a public website which any member of Joe Public could read. It probably wasn’t the wisest thing to do, but I was stultified that these attitudes and level of disrespect exists, no doubt people would say the same about my attitudes, but the difference is, I do not use creed, colour, gender or sexuality as a base for according disrespect.
During this time, oh joy, Lisa Ansell sends me an unsolicited string of emails (which have all been copied into third parties). What’s this, she says, about you telling a forum of people that I threatened to take your children away. Eh what says I? I think I had briefly alluded to the fact that in her capacity as a formal social worker, she had made comments about me not being a suitable parent as a “batshit bead rattler” and that I wouldn’t be approved for adoption or fostering and social workers would be interested in investigating my family. Given her previous hectoring and threats and attempts to find out details, I frankly would not put much past her. I made some generic comment about having been at the receiving end of some erratic behaviour and threats from a former social worker with extreme views, I am not disposed to trust them. Which I know is an unfair generalisation. So, anyway streams and streams of emails where she accuses me of being mentally ill, of stalking her, calling me a mad bitch, admitting that she was intending to report my husband to the bishop if I didn’t stop hurting women. It was deranged. I should not have made the mistake of responding. After telling her that I had blind copied the mails into other people and was seeking relevant legal advice, it died down a bit, whilst her mantle was taken up by others, although she posted a response to my blog on Johann Hari to accuse me of homophobia, to inform me that she knew Johann and that she might just tell him what an awful person I am. She also resurrected a thread on Stuart James’ EChurch blog, long after it had died down, in which she compared Robin to Stephen Green of all people which became increasingly unpleasant.
So, recently I’m thinking things on the mummy front have died down a bit, fortunately. I really need neither the hassle nor the attention. Some of the mummies have wikki-ed Munchausen’s Syndrome and decided that I am definitely a sufferer, because they know these things and my blog is simply all about attention-seeking, as indeed is my Twitter feed. If I lock it, it means I can’t engage with non followers, which is a shame, but if I keep it unlocked, it’s constantly scanned with gimlet eyes for signs of what I might be up to and copied and pasted onto the private FB forum for comment. It’s actually rather nasty in that I need to develop a very very thick skin, and simply ignore absolutely everyone, but it’s very very hard to know that I have to be ultra guarded. I locked my feed, then unlocked it, and of course the act of unlocking it, meant that I was craving the attention.
So a few weeks ago, whilst having a conversation with a fellow Catholic Tweeter who is by his own description a “lefty”, I made a fatal error. Without naming Lisa I linked to one of her articles from Liberal Conspiracy which stated that it was time to push back on the Christian vote. one which had received universal condemnation, both in terms of the content and the poor quality of writing. The point I was making was in support of the fact that it cannot be assumed, as it is by so many, that Christianity is represented only by the right-wing or by Evangelical Christians.
So, then I get the following batch of emails:
Lisa: – Stop stalking me or else I will tell Robin all about you.
(interesting approach from a feminist who appears to want to portray me in the light of someone who is clearly insane and is in an abusive relationship)
Me – Eh? What? Ha ha ha. Be my guest.
Lisa – look I’ve told you repeatedly, stop contacting me, this isn’t healthy, you are obsessed with me, I know you’ve had a hard time, you are mentally very very fragile but you have to stop contacting me.
Me – I’m absolutely fine thanks, but erm you contacted me.
Lisa – Look, I’ve told you, stop contacting me, you’re ill, ill I tell you, you must leave me alone and stop contacting me, I’m blocking all your emails
Me – OK that’s fine, but as I said, there’s nothing wrong with me, critiquing your article isn’t proof of mental illness or stalking is it? But still if you’re blocking me you won’t get this. Tatty bye.
Lisa – YOU ARE SO MENTALLY ILL. I’ve told you STOP CONTACTING ME. I don’t want to hurt you, you are ill, you are mental, but you have to leave me alone and stop this behaviour.
Me – What behaviour? You contacted me and if I’m so mental then you won’t mind what I say then will you.
Lisa – AAARGH YOU RESPONDED AGAIN. You are ILL. You are MENTAL. This is unhealthy. GET HELP!
Me – Hmmm. I’m fine
Lisa – You’ve responded again. I”VE TOLD YOU NOT TO CONTACT ME. You are so clearly ill and so very very mental that I am worried about my safety and that of my daughter because you are now threatening me.
Me – Don’t be so ridiculous. Do you have any proof of that? I have no idea where you even live and no interest in your or your daughter. You need to evidence any such claims, you have contacted me. AGAIN. Now please go away.
She went after that and I forwarded that exchange in full to quite a few people in case it should be needed.
So it all went away again until a few days ago when a little bird informed me that Lisa was considering entering her blog for the Orwell Prize. I was most amused. She’s not averse to very colourful language, her style is not the most erudite, the content derivative of a certain brand of 1970s feminism, marriage is nothing more than a sexual relationship in which the woman is paid for providing sexual services. She comes out with choice nuggets such as “the moment my husband stopped sticking his dick in me, meant that I was hated”, her most recent piece attempting to emulate Suzanne Moore’s “keep your rosaries off my ovaries” (not an original or anatomically correct sentiment) piece, but without the flair. She seems to suffer from a paranoia that Ian Duncan Smith and “the Tories want to come and inspect her vagina.” I don’t tend to read her stuff, I prefer more intelligent and challenging discourse when it comes to discussing a left-wing feminist perspective. It does provide a good laugh, the on-line equivalent of Emily Lloyd in Wish you were Here, in particular the scene where she stands up in the restaurant and announces to all “I like willies”. That’s how I view swearing in written form. It’s quite immature and lazy in nature, a tired cliched attempt at being shocking or providing controversy, but not worthy of prize-winning status.
So anyway, having been armed with that choice nugget of gossip as well as the fact that Lisa was looking for an unpaid volunteer to help her edit her blog in time for the Orwell Prize, I did sneak a look at her twitter feed to see if this was true.
I noted first of all that it was with huge regret that Lisa had informed the Guardian that she could “no longer write for them”. I had no idea that she was employed by them, she’s submitted the odd Comment is Free piece, but then they invite everyone to do that. Still I hope they are not missing her too much.
I then saw that indeed she is recruiting for assistance with blog editing in the run up to the end of the year. Coincidentally the Orwell Prize deadline occurs around that time. I don’t know whether or not procuring editing help from a third party is in breach of regulations. If she is long or short-listed, I’m sure the judges will be able to make a decision on that.
I also then spied that she was complaining of blog trolls (I have some sympathy) but then saying, that it was an old adversary, a religious nut job, the religious equivalent of genital herpes. She has a nice turn of phrase does our Lisa. Shorely shum mishstake, thinks I, I’ve not been near her blog.
So curiosity piqued I had a look at her blog – it’s public, like her twitter feed, like mine, and people looking at our feed does not constitute stalking, no matter how tiresome it might be if they feel the need to constantly look at it and pass comment. Where I draw the line though, is in talking about people behind their back or resorting to abuse, which is why I am being very open and direct about this. I come to her rosaries and ovaries post and after spitting my tea with laughter, I note the comments page, reproduced here.
To be fair, I see nothing there that would indicate trolls, I have no idea who Jontie Newell is, if anyone does, please could they ask him to step forward?
I think wise owl has it spot on really, if she’s going to declare that I am Jontie Newell, she needs to produce IP addresses (there can be no mistaking mine, my location and broadband provider are clearly named) to substantiate this. I would also agree that it’s not a good idea to mislead people into thinking that the University of Oxford had sought her expert opinion or views. But none of this is either trolling, or indeed my doing. Oh yes it is says Lisa. It’s so serious that there’s a group of them who are going to go to the police.
Understandably I’m a bit narked and tweet my frustration. Lisa is going to report me to the police for stalking, threatening and harassing her because someone, who wasn’t me has made a comment on her blog post.
The response varied from the serious to the very amusing. (Can I just say thank you to Uncool Uncle, you are a star who made my day yesterday). Lisa would be absolutely laughed at were she to report me to the police, she’d probably be banged to rights herself for wasting police time.
So consoling myself with the thought that she was quite quite insane and that I needn’t expect that knock on the door just yet, I went into town. Whilst sitting and waiting for an appointment, I checked my phone and surprise surprise, my favourite old friend popped up, to offer Lisa some support. She suggested that they get their heads together so that they can engage in some online revenge or whatever. She was still a bit sore that I had threatened her with libel, after all she’d only made up an entire blogpost naming my family and discussing our finances based on assumptions not fact. I took this very seriously because what seemed inconsequential or trivial to her could have had severe repercussions for my family and young children.
So, understandably, I am more than a little upset and paranoid. One person with whom I have a history of online problems offering to collude with another person who seems to have aggression and anger management problems to attack me.
Here’s the thing. I. did. not. write. the. comment. I am not Jontie Newell and have no blinking idea who s/he is. None.
So here’s the latest on her blog. Other people have commented. Obviously they are me as well. Even though, well erm they are not. I have no idea who they are and nor have I asked anyone to intervene on Lisa’s blog for me. I probably think she’s best left to it really.
I have had an email saying one of us is clearly lying or mental. Maybe it’s both, who knows, but what I have done is copy all of Lisa’s emails to third parties.
I do not like the insinuation that I am mentally ill, nor that I am stalking her, although I am definitely keeping an eye on her now, wouldn’t you? It’s not nice to be threatened with police action, even though a sane or rational person knows it wouldn’t go anywhere. Apparently if I mention Lisa on my twitter feed, something that most people know I tend to avoid like the plauge – she’s referred to as Voldemort, then that constitutes harassment and she’ll have me bang to rights. It’s nasty stuff this. If I’m going to have Plod round, I’d like some warning to arrange a baby sitter. The baby is exclusively breastfed, I’ll need to defrost a feed and get that ready and find someone to look after her. I’ll also need someone to pick up my eldest from school, whilst I’m being quizzed for doing whatever it is I am supposed to have done.
Lisa has been very clear, no-one is to mention my name in the same breath as hers. Oh no.
So the implication is clear. I have obviously been doing something to her. She has never engaged with me by “choice”. She was forced to send me streams of vitriolic email. She was forced to send her friends to warn me never to mention her name. She’s been forced to out me as a troll on her blog, and probably now she will be forced to go to the police. Or come out with all kinds of vicious allegations.
If you mention my name and hers, she will block you. However will you cope?
Since yesterday I have had emails from her friends asking me what is going and stating that she says she is going to the police. That’s not a nice thing to have hanging over you.
Other people have contacted me to offer unqualified support. Fortunately, several tweeters have emailed me to say that they have had to block her after receiving similar tirades. One person sought me out a few weeks ago, working out who I was from her tweets which named me and has sent me an email explaining how Lisa attempted to emotionally blackmail him into giving her business venture free publicity on his website and then threatened to publish all their correspondence on her blog if he did not comply.
Let’s just say she isn’t very good at winning friends and influencing people.
I apologise for the foul language.
As I said, this will be the absolutely last post I write on the matter of trolls. This has been a really difficult post to write, it’s taken quite a lot of courage and I am actually very very frightened as to what the possible outcome might be. But I’m fed up with having this hanging over me, fed up with being scared of Lisa and her emails. In February she was very very clear that she planned to tell everyone that she thought he was abusive and our household was toxic.
What do you do with bullies? You stand up to them. You take the wind out of their sails. This is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write, I don’t know if its wise, but sometimes you have to be brave and take a stand. Facing your fears is the first step to overcoming them. I am fed up with having her hang over me for a year and her wannabe friend who wants to hang off her every word, keen to denounce me for calling Dr Evan Harris a nasty name, but happy to collude in calumny.
I await the call from the police.
What have I ever done to merit this? Seriously?
The answer is simple. I dared to expound and defend mainstream Christian views on abortion and same-sex adoptions and surrogacy and had the nerve to defend the Vatican amongst the chattering classes. That is all.
I am not enjoying this, it feels like a relief, a big weight off my shoulders and I know that this could be perceived as unkind or un-Christian. I am doing my best to forgive Lisa, but when she continues to defame me, to accuse me of mental illness and threaten me with the police, enough is enough.
I added an extra screenshot in the interests of transparency. Jontie Newell does turn rather nasty and obviously the mention of the Orwell Prize has lead Lisa to conclude that the poster is me. Again, I reiterate – it really isn’t. I’d be really pleased if s/he could turn up and identify themselves.
A mutual friend to whom I forwarded the strings of emails and finds the whole episode rather odd, says that Lisa claims that I have missed out parts from the emails I forwarded on, i.e. I’ve edited them and doctored them to make it appear as though I wasn’t threatening. I’ve looked at gmail, who host my email, and indeed there is a a function button which says show original, so any changes may be clearly shown up. This will be important if the police are involved but fortunately there are tech experts who will be able to verify such matters.
Lisa claims I am “at her day and night”. She has yet to forward on proof of this. You would think that if you were being threatened by someone that you would keep email copies and screen grabs and logs. My friend has asked her for the missing emails and for evidence but she has not passed this on, saying that she doesn’t wish to bait me, I’m obviously terribly ill and it would be very unkind.
Finally, the twitter user who’d made false claims about my family has forwarded Lisa a copy of my IP address from when I posted some comments on her blog. Lisa should be able to compare this with the IP addresses from her comments and see they are not me. For transparency, if she is accusing me of being her troll, and she wants to state my IP address, then she ought to provide visible proof like screen grabs. My understanding is that posterous will keep logs of all this, so it should be very easy to prove who her comments are from. I don’t think it is reasonable to simply accept her word, she is accusing me of being mentally ill and harassing her, so we need some substantive evidence, such as copies of the emails that I am supposed to have sent, as well as evidence of the IP addresses of her comments.
The fact that a total stranger contacted me a few weeks ago after seeing Lisa name me on her feed, to offer their support having experienced similar treatment, says it all.