Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sunshine

Heather began her career in blogging several years ago, and over time she built up quite a respectable fan base. Heather was relatively familiar with most of her readers, so when a man named Martin began posting comments to her website about seven months ago, she recognized he was a new visitor to her blog.

Exactly seven months later, Martin would be in jail and Heather was living on a friend's couch.

From the outset Martin began to post comments to Heather's blog pretty consistently, if not obsessively. Even as her traffic ebbed and flowed, she could always count on Martin leaving at least one comment for every single post. She didn't think much of it initially, and figured he was just some odd character with way too much time on his hands.

But as the months passed, Martin began to send Heather personal emails, usually to expand upon the comments he had posted to her blog. Heather wasn't too fond of corresponding with her readers via email, but she answered a few of his questions out of common courtesy.

Three months after Martin found Heather's website, Heather attended a blogging conference to network with other bloggers and catch up on some new technology. Upon arrival at the conference, she was approached by a short, balding man with wire rim glasses. He knew Heather's real name, which took Heather by surprise. No one knew her real name, nor anything else about her for that matter, as she had long ago taken some rather extreme measures to protect her identity.

The short man then introduced himself.

His name was Martin, which immediately rung a bell with Heather.

It's that guy.

Heather was a bit perturbed this strange little man had actually come to a networking conference to meet her, but she stood politely as Martin asked her a few questions about her blog and her taste in music. After a brief and polite conversation, Martin indicated he had bought a few gifts for Heather. Heather explained she felt uncomfortable accepting gifts from a stranger, but Martin shrugged it off and left her gifts in a conference room.

Martin left, and Heather joined the conference in progress feeling somewhat confident she would never have to deal with Martin again.

And here we go.

Heather returned home from the conference and found her email inbox packed with emails from Martin. His correspondence had suddenly taken a turn toward personal subjects, and became largely incoherent and rambling. Heather answered a few of them, but as she progressed she realized she may as well have been writing emails to a sea lion. Disturbed, she sat down and wrote a post for her website about "obsessive fans," hoping he might get a clue and stop.

It backfired. Very badly.

Martin took it as a tutorial and absolutely deluged Heather with emails.

Heather blocked Martin from posting to her website and immediately stopped reading Martin's emails, instead filing them directly into a separate folder. Only a few days later, Heather's email server seized up. Heather checked into the problem, and found Martin had inundated her server with so many emails and music files that her server had simply shut down.

Frustrated and confused, she began to check what Martin had written in his emails.

What she found did not bode well for her.

Heather,

And i bring good news. i have seen your waving hand from the abyss and bought a new modem from another provider so i can get online from home. i think i can now leave comments on your blog again :)))))

do not feel bad about anything. I like that I hvae to WORK fore this (i know you have done your best to give me acess but not even you could do that) because now i can repay you for the geneva mails you sent me from abroad 4 years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been so troubled (and that virus was not from you, I know that 100 %!). this is sent from my new provider's email account. and it was the IP address which was blocked (and i am so happy that it was the IP address you did not like and not ME)

You still have many filters so my yahoo and gamil accounts do not work. You are guarding your body so well, my sun. But it is certainly also worth looking after!!!!!!!

And i will now send mail that bounced earlier tonight from my other accounts. so let's take a technical tea-break :)))))))))))))))"

Martin

Apparently Martin had concluded Heather was now in love with him.

In fact, Martin now referred to Heather as his "sun." Everything Heather wrote on her website related directly to Martin in some way, and her recent silence was now only a "test of his love." Martin knew this because Heather had arranged "secret puzzles" in her blog entries that spoke to Martin and Martin only, and he had been quite busy lately trying to decipher her "puzzles."

And the emails kept rolling in ...

Heather,

Thank you for bridging gaps. A bridge can say so much. It has meant a lot to me.


And so I want to say that right now things are as when we met. No more. No less. We are both a little wiser, perhaps. I like that.

I'd really like to be able to comment on your blog again. Just like before we started mirroring. I want you to blog like you did before we met. Without all these constant hints and puzzles.

You are really good at these puzzles. You would make a great novelist. I think I have found most of your hints and puzzles - both the good and the bad ones. I can now laugh at your jokes again. Thank you for your TRUST and BELIEF that I can "get" them. Your thoughts are very advanced and I'm happy i understand you. But I spend a lot of time trying to "get" them.

I think we are now both standing exactly where we stood when we met except apart. Maybe we should meet again - has your sun started working so you can burn some sunshine?

In the future, please do not leave anymore puzzles for me on the blog. Have a lovely day with much sun!!!!!"

Martin

Now unable to contact Heather, Martin somehow located her home address and began loitering in local parks and grocery stores in an attempt to catch Heather out in public.

Heather

Yes, I know I sent you a longshot invitation in my thoughts. So I spent the day in the botanical garden waiting for my thoughts to reach you.

The sun was burning in there :)))))))

I was thinking about my life and what i know for certain about my life right now, i mean WHAT I KNOW and that is that we will be together and i will give the two of us the best chance ever amd we both deserve that!

And you are as right as ever. The Botinical gardens are very charming but I forget they are there. No longer, of course.

I understand why you are so hesitant towards me. i mean, you have so many prejudices to fight. But i have said this earlier. I FORGIVE YOU (FOR) EVERYTHING.


I hope you will show up soon because i am getting tired of walking around your parks waiting for you. So many people are there. Not that they are wrong people BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE RIGHT PERSON!!!!!"

Martin

Thankfully, Heather's "thought" phone was temporarily out of service.

For whatever reason, Martin also conjured up the idea that Heather had a wooden leg, and he frequently encouraged her to be open about it.

Heather,

I never thought i'd write to you about this because the topic is so important that it need not be written.

I noticved your little game on the blog the other day and your reaction when "peg leg" was mentioned. I did not even notice it when we met but now I know. But i still will not notice it the next time we meet.

I DO NOT CARE that you have a peg leg because i look at the whole person whether they are family-friebds-colleagues-or girlfriends :) So i did not join in the debate and think that the response to the peg leg was .. primitive. Unlike YOU!

If you do have a peg-leg the only difference it makes is that you become all that more interesting and you are already interesting :)I wanted to say this to you in person but you get it in writing :(I hope you are better and not troubled and have been out in the sun :)))

Martin

Despite being quite a few croutons short of a salad, Martin was remarkably adept in locating Heather's personal information, as noted below ...

Heather,

I tracked you to XXXXXXcbbler.com. Hmm, did you call yourself XXXXX xxxxx once and studied teaching in XXXXXX?

I don't know. I never answered you. My computer broke down and I lost your mails. In panic I tried to recue your mails but that only made matters worse. Perhaps I am off target? I have been thinking about your mails for a long time.

When we met in the coffee shop I already knew when I pressed your hand that we would have excellent fun and we did.. It was like meeting an old friend OR SOMETHING. It has to be Ying-Yang. Hmmm.. The sun has been burning inside me .. god, I must sound half crazy. But actually I feel relieved. I have been paralysed most of the day. Skipped work to come home and write you this letter and mail you the music.

Perhaps you are really pissed off and not playing hard to .. ?? No. But in that case .. anyway.

I sent you You Do the song to tell you that if you ever have a nervous breakdown i will be there for you and take good care of you. It also says that i want you to break down. I mean it when i say I will be there for you because you have something that most other people do not.

Martin

Once Martin started sending marriage proposals to Heather, Heather filed an order of harassment with her local police department.

Then, of course, Martin started showing up on her doorstep.

Martin was arrested, and deeming him dangerous, the police advised Heather to stay with friends until Martin was admitted to a psychiatric facility.

We'll let Heather close it out.

"I think I was a very very random target for Martin. It was never about *me* because he had no idea who I was. I met him once while surrounded by other people and even then I was conscious of being there as a blogger, not as *me*. I have since moved country - almost continent - and I've stopped looking over my shoulder to see if Martin is walking behind me."

155 comments:

  1. Super creepy :-/

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  2. Good luck in your new life Heather, and I'm glad the story ended with Martin getting psychiatric help rather than anything worse happening.

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  3. wow. he does sound mentally ill. sad and scary.

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  4. All the "sun" references threw me. Like everything revolved around her? Yikes. That's scary.

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  5. gross and strange. I hate creepy men.

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  6. So Weasie, does this mean I have to stop posting to every blog entry you make, because otherwise I'm some obsessed fan with too much time on my hands?

    I swear, I don't e-mail you (much)! Those 50 e-mails yesterday all went through, right?

    My sweet Weasely-poo, I can't wait until we're walking together in the sunshine, holding hands and eating Snickers bars!

    Seriously, Martin is creepy/scary, as well as obviously mentally disturbed. He also has a very weird obsession with sunshine, for some reason.

    Oh, and the 'hidden messages' in Heather's posts that were for Martin alone? Classical delusional signs.

    I'm glad Heather's away from the whackadoodle, but I feel sorry for whomever will become his next target once he's released from jail.

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  7. lulz

    The entire thing: lulz.

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  8. This just made me sad. He was clearly mentally ill. Not someone to laugh at but someone to have compassion for. This was probably a very scary situation for Heather and I'm glad she's found a place where she can look back and see the humor in the situation, but that doesn't mean we should call Martin "gross" or "creepy". Save that for The Nice Guys.

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  10. Sarah- I 100% agree.

    I put up two posts today. Below this is the "Nice Guy" you allude to.

    Only he's not nice.

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  11. Mack Truck you've got a "special" folder already.

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  12. I know this is a very dark and sinister story but the part about the peg leg had me crying with laughter.

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  13. Wow. Just. Wow. I'm glad he's getting help, and I'm glad that she is far, far away from him and safe. This post was pretty terrifying -- thanks for posting a lighter one as well, Weas!

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  14. I'm going to try to put up a humorous one over the weekend. I've got some fucking retards on deck somewhere.

    Send in your letters please, people :)

    ok, im going to bed

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  15. I think that crossed the border from self-obsessed wanker to be mocked to mentally ill chap to be pitied.

    Peg leg? WTF?

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  16. He must be one tan motherfucker with all that sun!
    Crazy and wrinkled.....Awesome!

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  17. This is scarily similar to any case you'll hear about a celebrity being murdered by an obsessed fan. They get one letter in response, and suddenly BAM they're the celebrity's lover or best friend, and then the crazy delusions (wooden leg, hidden messages) set in. She's lucky she wasn't killed.

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  18. "if you ever have a nervous breakdown i will be there for you"

    Sounds like a hit song in the making.

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  19. Sounds like de Clérambault's syndrome - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotomania

    The telepathy, seeing riddles and patterns in behaviour that somehow send the suffer signals, it all fits. It was also featured in Ian McEwans' Enduring Love.

    I hope he gets help.

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  20. He should have been more imaginative with his astronomy references. maybe call her his Sagittarius A* or something...

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  21. Oh God, that is such a scary story...and it really does sadden me, this man with so many mental problems...I hope that they are able to help him and to protect society from him.

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  22. If someone's bothering you, you need to be clear about it. Wow.

    Writing a blog post about "obsessive fans" as a hint? After the guy comes to a CONFERENCE UNIVITED, KNOWING YOUR NAME?

    At this point, you need to let them know immediately on no uncertain terms that you're not interested and they need to stop contacting you - not drop a hint by posting a blog post.

    As far as I can tell from the story, Heather never actually said no - or at least waited a very long time to do so. What's up with that?

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  23. Well, most people can take never getting a response as a hint.

    Also, saying "no" wouldn't have helped in this case. He was mentally ill. Look at how she blocked his IP, and he took it as she hated the IP and not him. If she said "no", he would havejust read some "riddle" into it that said otherwise.

    Did you even read the entry, or did you just stop after the convention and complain?

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  24. And the fact that he "wanted" her to have a break-down so he could be there for her?

    Super creepy!!

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  25. Yeah, that whole, "I figured out it was my IP addy and not ME that you didn't like!" response was downright freaky. Definitely something 'not quite right' with that boy.

    Ooooh, I have my own 'special' folder in Weasie's hard drive!

    I'll work on trying to decipher the messages you're secretly sending me when you post, my sweet Weasely-poo.

    Oh, and as far as your wooden leg, that's not a problem my little honey-smooches. Just makes you that much more wunnerful!

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  26. Clara - yep, that seems pretty spot on.

    Am I the only one who think that this slice of crazy came with big side order of hidden agression?

    Scary stuff, but thankfully with a happy ending for both parties involved.

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  27. Welcome back, Weasel! Great to read these posts!

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  28. At least this guy was a cut-and-dry psychiatric case. When you've got a stalker who teeters on the edge of sane and insane... I think that must be the worst.

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  29. Funny, Mack Truck, when I read that part of the post I also thought of you.

    The difference between Martin and men with their heads on somewhat straight is that telling men like Martin to fuck off is a big no no. I'm glad Sarah did the right thing and got in touch with the authorities rather than egg on an already unstable person.

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  30. Shit. I might have a Martin brewing.

    He's always seemed harmless, but then again, these guys always SEEM harmless until they actually do some harm.

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  31. just wanted to let you know i featured your blog on one of my blog posts this week! love the idea..so creative!

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  32. Truly psychotic, in the literal definition of the word - Martin's belief of secret puzzles left only for him, her having a wooden leg, and the other things all pretty clearly point to someone actively schizophrenic. not all mentally ill people are dangerous but he sure sounds like one of the ones who is.
    Good luck Heather - hopefully Martin will stay locked up somewhere safe.

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  33. Great, these psychos are even in the blogging world now?! Have mercy!

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  34. Natural question

    If someone's bothering you, you need to be clear about it. Wow.

    Writing a blog post about "obsessive fans" as a hint? After the guy comes to a CONFERENCE UNIVITED, KNOWING YOUR NAME?

    At this point, you need to let them know immediately on no uncertain terms that you're not interested and they need to stop contacting you - not drop a hint by posting a blog post.

    As far as I can tell from the story, Heather never actually said no - or at least waited a very long time to do so. What's up with that?


    Typical discounts (here) that 'no' can't possibly work. After all, not saying 'no' hasn't worked...

    Well, most people can take never getting a response as a hint.

    Also, saying "no" wouldn't have helped in this case. He was mentally ill. Look at how she blocked his IP, and he took it as she hated the IP and not him. If she said "no", he would havejust read some "riddle" into it that said otherwise.

    Did you even read the entry, or did you just stop after the convention and complain?


    or saying 'no' may be dangerous

    The difference between Martin and men with their heads on somewhat straight is that telling men like Martin to fuck off is a big no no. I'm glad Sarah did the right thing and got in touch with the authorities rather than egg on an already unstable person.

    Seriously, what asylum are you from? A woman determinately say 'no'? Madness!

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  35. @Anon11:47,

    Awww, you thought of me too! How sweet!

    Naw, I like Weasel's blog well enough, but I'm not a creepy, obsessed fan. I don't think. But then, NO creepy, obsessed fan thinks they are. Um, uh oh......

    I cheat on Weasel with plenty of other blogs and BBs, so I spread the craziness around.

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  36. Shit what a creeper.


    http://confessions-of-a-waitress.blogspot.com/

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  37. "And here we go.

    Heather returned home from the conference and found her email inbox packed with emails from Martin. His correspondence had suddenly taken a turn toward personal subjects, and became largely incoherent and rambling. Heather answered a few of them, but as she progressed she realized she may as well have been writing emails to a sea lion."

    This woman sounds like Kami the massage therapist's cousin. Sometimes I wonder about your stories, or more specifically the women in your stories.

    "I saw through the front peephole Victor. He was the man that wouldn't cease from incessantly following me everywhere I went, even into the ladies room at work! AHHHH! He was carrying a bloody axe! Oh well, I suppose I could have him in for a cold beer. What harm could come of it?"

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  38. How is she like Kami? She blocked him from her blog and didn't respond to his emails. It's not her fault he got a new IP.

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  39. How is she like Kami?

    ....found her email inbox packed with emails from Martin. His correspondence had suddenly taken a turn toward personal subjects, and became largely incoherent and rambling. Heather answered a few of them.....

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Heather answered a few of them?? What the hell for? By this stage of the story any rational woman's scary meter should be pegged. Who in the hell returns communications from a complete stranger having already judged their side of the input incoherent and rambling? Geez!

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  40. Schizophrenia is a horrible, debilitating disease. It is unfortunate that Heather was implicated into the man's delusions.

    Weasel, more faux-psychotic, less actual psychotic! I can't laugh at someone (Martin) so ill )=

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  41. Let me just say this:
    CREEPER.
    And I'll leave it at that.

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  42. Okay, I agree that Martin's obvious delusional behavior is sad, rather than mockable.

    But the part where he thought for some unknown reason that she had a wooden leg? HILARIOUS.

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  43. "if you ever have a nervous breakdown i will be there for you"

    Talk about the blind leading the blind on that one.

    This gentlemen is cracked. I'm so glad Heather is okay.

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  44. Yeah, guy's clearly a schizophrenic. More of a sad story than a funny one, really.

    I hope he's still receiving the medical treatment that he deserves, and that someone is ensuring he takes his meds.

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  45. I've noticed that in a lot of your blog posts there are these comments by "anonymous" who always blames the girl for not being "clear" enough, for not saying no emphatically enough. Anonymous, are you the same person? Are you just trolling this blog looking for ways to blame the victim? Very strange.

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  46. So, Mack Truck, you're not only a crazy obsessed fan, you're also a ho? Man, I've never heard cheating used as an excuse! I guess it fits here though lol

    Anon @ 12:17, I meant to say battling a psycho on your own is rarely a good idea. It's a good idea to take a good hard look at who's bugging the shit out of you and try to decide if they're truly certifiable before going nose to nose with them.

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  47. Anon 1:32

    If nothing else this post shows that when people are delusional in the clinical sense of the word, whatever you do, will be interpretated in a way that serves the purpouse of his/her delusion. Hence "no" and the sufficient degree of clairty doesn't cut it. Rather, attempting to burst their buble through personal confrontation might lead to violence.

    Expecting rational behavoir from the insane is just another sort of lunacy.

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  48. This guy is definitely mentally ill and suffering from Erotomania

    www.wikipedia.org/wiki/erotomania

    It's a good thing Heather got away from him when she did because these people can get dangerous.

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  49. Truly terrifying, honestly. He definitely sounds like an erotomaniac; these people are classically dangerous. Poor woman, I'm so glad she got away, and that there was a relatively happy ending for both parties.

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  50. Again

    Anon @ 12:17, I meant to say battling a psycho on your own is rarely a good idea. It's a good idea to take a good hard look at who's bugging the shit out of you and try to decide if they're truly certifiable before going nose to nose with them.

    and again

    If nothing else this post shows that when people are delusional in the clinical sense of the word, whatever you do, will be interpretated in a way that serves the purpouse of his/her delusion. Hence "no" and the sufficient degree of clairty doesn't cut it. Rather, attempting to burst their buble through personal confrontation might lead to violence.

    Expecting rational behavoir from the insane is just another sort of lunacy.


    Women are helpless. Saying 'no' is for the insane. Everything they do is useless. Why bother?

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  51. "I understand why you are so hesitant towards me. i mean, you have so many prejudices to fight. But i have said this earlier. I FORGIVE YOU (FOR) EVERYTHING.

    I hope you will show up soon because i am getting tired of walking around your parks waiting for you. So many people are there. Not that they are wrong people BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE RIGHT PERSON!!!!!

    ....Perhaps you are really pissed off and not playing hard to .. ?? No. But in that case .. anyway.

    I sent you You Do the song to tell you that if you ever have a nervous breakdown i will be there for you and take good care of you. It also says that i want you to break down. "

    -----------

    Totally chilling. And totally tragic. I am so glad she is safe; and that he is safely receiving some help.

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  52. He's clinically insane and what he did is not strictly his fault. This is one guy who is literally not responsible for his actions.

    But she does still need protection from him - crazy people's delusions can make them VERY determined, especially when they've still got JUST enough wherewithal to act on them and haven't yet become completely dysfunctional as people.

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  53. You know, this story reminds me...I need to re-read "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker. Part of it talks about the eroto-maniacs and how to deal with them/avoid them. However, her move to another continent? Sounds about right.

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  54. Martin's behavior reminds me of the delusions John Nash suffered from, as depicted in the movie "A Beautiful Mind." Seeing hidden messages and puzzles in ordinary text, acting on delusions to the point of being in a park and really believing that Heather will show...I hope Martin is doing okay. I feel bad for him. This interesting post truly illustrates the "psychotic" part of the blog name.

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  55. Anon 9:09

    No, women aren't helpless, but they can't be blamed for the behavior of the clinically insane!

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  56. Yeah, "no" would not have helped in a situation where yes means yes and no means yes, but I'm just being cute and making it challenging for you!

    Of course, I also blame women who play "hard to get" for teaching men - both sane and crazy - that no might mean yes. Ladies, just cut that crap out...you're making it difficult to convince men that when we don't answer the phone or their e-mail, that means we really do want them to go away.

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  57. I'm sorry, but the whole "peg leg" thing made me explode.

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  58. I'm glad she's safe and he's on a Thorazine drip somewhere padded. It's also nice to see our "just say NO" anon again.

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  59. I am relieved it turned out better than I thought. When I got to point where Weasel wrote that she was sleeping on her friend's couch, I thought he had burned her house down! She's lucky he didn't.

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  60. I was reading and thinking, "Yikes! Scary... scary... scary..."

    And then I got to "peg leg". Just the phrase "peg leg", rather than "wooden" or "artificial" leg, is ridiculous, but put it in sentences such as "I do not care that you have a peg leg", and I was laughing so hard I wheezed.

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  61. No, women aren't helpless, but they can't be blamed for the behavior of the clinically insane!

    and

    Yeah, "no" would not have helped in a situation where yes means yes and no means yes, but I'm just being cute and making it challenging for you!

    Exactly. So don't even try the simple route before ruling it out. Do something more difficult to comprehend/do something less likely to work/everything women could do is useless and they are helpless. Sucks to be a woman.

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  62. This is quite possible the creepiest story I have read on this blog so far.

    http://geekywomantales.blogspot.com

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  63. Wow. The first time a psychotic letter is from a man with an actual psychosis. er, a really obvious, clear-cut one, at least, rather than a testostertone-storm delusion.

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  64. EEEK! Soooo creepy.

    I just finished reading Gavin DeBecker's "The Gift of Fear". According to him, Heather did the best thing by waiting and watching at first- confronting him and saying "no" would have escalated the situation. Unfortunately when people are genuinely certifiable, there's NO solution other than locking them up.

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  65. this must've been the 'real sickness' post you referred to earlier, Weasel

    It's sad and scary that this person was out and about to begin with. Our so-called civilization gets a big FAIL when folks like this are not receiving the treatment they desperately need and law enforcement has to get involved.

    I'm glad Heather is ok. Thanks for the restraint, Weasel. Along with your scathing humor in the appropriate situations, you do a public service by letting us all know folks like this are out there and how to react appropriately.

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  66. Anonymous 8:57:

    Are you really that dense or are you just being oppositional for the hell of it?

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  67. @Anon 7:14: I think it's a delightful combination of both.

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  68. hellkell;

    Delightful, eh? I like it. :D

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  69. I also can't do colons right, apparently. XD

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  70. confronting him and saying "no" would have escalated the situation.

    because women are powerless to stay safe without doing something sneaky. They just know the simple, upfront route is not worth a try. Not sneaky enough, hence dangerous. Inexpressive weirdness naturally saves time and trouble, doesn't get construed as mind games, and spares people from getting pissed.

    Are you really that dense or are you just being oppositional for the hell of it?

    when people have no proof, they resort to fear and insults.

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  71. I don't expect that this will actually make an impression on you, Mr. Anon, given how busy you are lugging that chip around on your shoulder. But here goes:

    Yes, it's certainly true that many women would be better served by being more upfront when they are not interested in a man. That's a given. You seem to fail to understand how deeply the conditioning runs, from the time women are small, not to be confrontational. To smile and always be polite. To not hurt people or make them angry. To not make waves. But yes, we should do better at fighting this conditioning.

    What you are refusing to see or acknowledge in any way, however, is that nothing this woman could have done would have gotten through to Martin. He might be schizophrenic, more likely erotomanic. Either way, he was DELUSIONAL. The definition of a delusion is "a fixed, false belief that persists EVEN IN THE FACE OF EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY." You cannot "logic" a person out of a delusion. You cannot say "sorry, I am not interested and you are repulsive" and expect them to apologize and move on. Delusions do not work that way. Even a casual reading of the story makes it abundantly clear that he could not be talked out of his beliefs or behavior.

    And even if he could, you are blaming the victim. And she absolutely was a victim. Your statements here are the equivalent of blaming a rape victim for wearing clothes that were "too sexy". And you are making an ass of yourself.

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  72. I think we have all missed the point here ~
    A Blogging Confrence????? I had no idea.

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  73. Maybe the peg leg thing comes from a geniune confusion on his part with Heather Mills McCartney, Paul's ex-wife who lost a leg in her twenties after she was hit by a police motorbike. Same name and possibly, to his confused mind, the same person.

    I don't blame Heather at all. The guy was found out to be mentally ill to such an extent that he was found to be unfit to live in society and institutionalised. Obviously she has had to move on to a different country which is an awful shame for her.

    She is in no way to blame for this.

    DIMPLES

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  74. I gotta admit, it's a lot less funny when the perpetrator actually IS psychotic and not just the typical self-centered egomaniac whose sense of entitlement to his chosen vagina is driving his rantings.

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  75. durr...blaming the victim...durr

    Sometimes criticizing 'the victim' is not 'blaming the victim'. You're poisoning the well making this bogus claim.

    Next, there's so much wrong with that phrase: (1) it raises the victim complex, (2) it suggests only one victim. Martin is not a victim? Everyone is a victim of circumstance. On further examination, maybe you are blaming 'the victim'.

    DELUSIONAL

    A reason after the fact does not justify an action before. Retroactive reasons are flawed. She should have (1) spoken honestly before (2) dropping hints on her website and banning. Even so, unlikely things do happen. If 2, which she actually did, was worth a try, then 1 certainly was.

    Summary

    Reasons not to say 'no' upfront: fear (it's dangerous, women can't do this safely), insults (you're stupid if you argue this, you're an ass), victim complex (you're blaming the victim if you argue this), retroactive reasoning (you obviously shouldn't--much later we find out he's DELUSIONAL), defeatism (it never works)

    Reasons to say 'no' upfront: you should (it's honest and considerate), it's simple, it sometimes works

    Since the set of reasons not to say 'no' is more rhetoric than actual reason, it seems pretty clear which side is more wanting.

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  76. OK, gotta say: To any of you who think that "being clear", "saying no" or otherwise politely declining would necessarily deter an angry, entitled male, or should I say, Nice Guy(TM), get real. Oh. That's right. You're probably a Nice Guy(TM) yourself, and nothing short of a full frontal lobotomy will put the stalking to rest.

    Seriously. The argument doesn't work. The sort of male who doesn't move on after a woman politely but clearly turns him down is the kind of male who would also become a physical threat if the woman decides to be a little less polite. And don't tell me "maybe she wasn't clear." Dudes, it really shouldn't take that much. When you don't even KNOW the woman, she has absolutely no obligation to even acknowledge his existence, much less engage him enough to tell him "no". With certain men, "being clear" is interpretted as encouragement. Believe me, I've seen it.

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  77. Well said, Suzy.

    Anon appears to live in a world where sexual harassment is merely a question of women not making themselves understood. Not about, say, the need of pathetic men for sexual dominance as a means of making them feel on top.

    Then, to make themselves understood, women should presume that men have the cognitive abilities of a badly mannered two year old, while ignoring its propensity for irrationel and violent behavior. How dare they hesitate while poking the potentially psychotic bear?!

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  78. "A reason after the fact does not justify an action before. Retroactive reasons are flawed. She should have (1) spoken honestly before (2) dropping hints on her website and banning. Even so, unlikely things do happen. If 2, which she actually did, was worth a try, then 1 certainly was."


    I disagree that there were no warning signs in the beginning (which is what you seem to be implying by stating that the reasons only surfaced after the fact). She ran a blog and initially he was just another member, albeit one who seemed more devoted than most. He sent a few personal e-mails which she answered. All popular bloggers get personal e-mails, and I bet most answer them. At that point there was no need for her to tell him she wasn't interested in him - they were exchanging innocent e-mails. Nothing in the story suggests he expressed a romantic interest in her at that point.

    The very first in-person contact she had with Martin was at the conference. This is the very first point in the story where we see that he is expressing anything beyond blogger-reader interest in her. And what does she discover at that moment?

    1) He's managed to learn her real name and locate her.
    2) He decides, having never met her, to go to this conference to meet her.
    3) He brought her gifts.

    Her response at that time was to turn down the gifts. How is that not a clear signal to him? Maybe you can't read his behavioral signs as well as some others here can, but those three facts above are very clear warning signs that this isn't a nice, normal man who will respond appropriately to an overt verbal rejection by moving on.

    She responded correctly by ignoring him as much as possible after that. People with erotomania live and breathe for contact with the object of their affection. Any response at all, even if it had been "Scram, you loser, you don't have a chance with me" only serves as encouragement. See the part where he talks about her setting up obstacles for him, to make him woo her? The stronger she had phrased a rejection, the more he would have taken it as a test of his resolve and faith in their relationship.

    There is nothing that she could have done to prevent this man's obsession. You repeatedly implying that she could have changed the course of what happened if only she'd tried saying "No thanks" soon enough is blaming the victim. And yes, she is the victim here. As for Martin, no. He is not a victim. Maybe you think he is a poor innocent literally driven mad by a heartless tease, but I don't see it. I can feel a certain amount of compassion for him because he is mentally ill, but my compassion is seriously tempered when one person's illness ruins another's life.

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  79. Well said, Anon 3:13

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  80. Why thank you. :-)

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  81. Reasons not to say 'no' upfront: fear (it's dangerous, women can't do this safely), insults (you're stupid if you argue this, you're an ass), victim complex (you're blaming the victim if you argue this), retroactive reasoning (you obviously shouldn't--much later we find out he's DELUSIONAL), defeatism (it never works)

    Reasons to say 'no' upfront: you should (it's honest and considerate), it's simple, it sometimes works


    God, you're pathetic. You remind of a guy I met last fall who wouldn't give it up no matter how many clear signals I sent him that I wasn't interested. He sat next to me at the event where we met. Once the performance ended, he decided he was going to sit there and try to carry on a conversation with me. Without saying a word, I stood up and walked away. In any other circumstance, any sane, non-delusional, non-entitled person would have taken that for what it was: a clear brush off.

    YOU, and no one else, are responsible for taking "no" (in all its verbal and non-verbal forms) for an answer. If you choose to pretend you don't understand obvious signals that a woman isn't interested, you have only yourself to blame.

    Stop being such a crybaby.

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  82. YOU, and no one else, are responsible for taking "no" (in all its verbal and non-verbal forms) for an answer. If you choose to pretend you don't understand obvious signals that a woman isn't interested, you have only yourself to blame.

    Sounds like you pretend people understand your 'clear' and 'obvious' signals. Nothing implicit matches an honest, straightforward 'no'.

    Signals like that perplex and insult. They raise questions about your mood and character and suggest you think the observer is an animal who doesn't understand or merit proper language. That gesture also requests the observer leave you alone. You're demanding understanding and consideration for your request, yet paying none of a speaking human. In egalitarian society, that's insult. Some people call it 'nerve'. Grudges start this way.

    If self-regard and demand for common courtesy is entitlement, then everyone's entitled. You, however, have something a step beyond that. You feel entitled that people read your signals and disregard your lapses in basic courtesy.

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  83. Thank you for mansplaining it to us, anon. Now go check your privilege.

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  84. Awesome tangent there, dude.

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  85. So Mr. Anon, are you why women hate men?

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  86. OK, gotta say: To any of you who think that "being clear", "saying no" or otherwise politely declining would necessarily deter an angry, entitled male, or should I say, Nice Guy(TM), get real. [...] Seriously. The argument doesn't work. The sort of male who doesn't move on after a woman politely but clearly turns him down is the kind of male who would also become a physical threat if the woman decides to be a little less polite. [...] she has absolutely no obligation to even acknowledge his existence, much less engage him enough to tell him "no". With certain men, "being clear" is interpretted as encouragement. Believe me, I've seen it.

    So men who don't read or understand signals are more dangerous, they're angry and entitled, and though saying 'no' doesn't work, attempts to say 'no' are impolite and make men angry and dangerous. Apparently women can't perform such things safely. You also have anecdotes with no proper way to attribute cause. These interesting suppositions and claims are still wanting proof.

    We agree: it doesn't necessarily deter. Neither does a court order. Review my reasons: it's simple, you should do it out of consideraton, it sometimes works. It's worth a try. Consistent.

    We also agree: she has no obligation to treat others with basic human courtesy. Neither does anyone else. Jerks (including her) meet this way.

    Verbal, honest communication eliminates guesswork and recognizes the person's ability to comprehend human language. There's no guesswork that it's (1) a communication (not accident) with (2) the meaning you had in mind. This is clearer and shows better consideration which is more polite.

    Incomplete generalizations, even made-up ones, don't predict an individual. You never know what works with someone until you actually try.

    Another one for defeatism, appeal to fear, unsupported assertions.
    New: discounting a misleading claim I didn't make, failure to attribute cause.

    Then, to make themselves understood, women should presume that men have the cognitive abilities of a badly mannered two year old, while ignoring its propensity for irrationel and violent behavior. How dare they hesitate while poking the potentially psychotic bear?!

    On the contrary, speaking to a person presumes the maturity to understand and accept the message. Communicating like animals undermines expectations.

    Another for fear men, talking is impolite.

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  87. Blah, blah, now you're Miss Manners. Whatever, anon.

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  88. "In any other circumstance, any sane, non-delusional, non-entitled person would have taken that for what it was: a clear brush off."

    I'm a woman. I would take that to be so much overkill of a brush-off that it said something (not complimentary) about the woman who stood up without speaking and walked away. I've had to rebuff my share of guys both harmless and not so harmless. But a guy trying to flirt does not merit the wordless brush-off. I feel this was definite overkill even if the guy wasn't dressed and didn't talk like "my set." I have managed to gain a little self-confidence (not much) in my 52 years, so I would be able to think, "This woman who can't manage to say 'thanks but I must run now'" has something wrong with HER.

    I think a guy who didn't do anything more than sit beside someone and try to talk to them, has not done anything wrong enough to merit such a brush-off. I know good-hearted, salt-of-the-earth Aspy guys who are harmless and do not get why it's probably not a good bet to attempt to chat up the prom queen. They do have to be told "I'm not ever going to be interested." And they don't go off with a meat cleaver. They move on to the next girl. Meanwhile, what is wrong with a polite "I'm sorry but I have to go meet my friends/uncle/martial arts instructor now" and if he asks for a phone number say "I'm not interested." Or (what I would do) give him a wrong no. (sorry, that's wimpy) I would TRY to push myself to say "I'm not over my ex." OK that's wimpy. I would TRY to push myself to say "I don't think we would get along. I am really bossy." What am I say ing, at 52 I don't have to deal with this. In my day I would have said "I'm sorry but I don't think we would get along" if I am not in a relationship and it is obvious there are huge huge differences where I wouldn't be interested in a million years. But just to walk off, i don't think that is merited in the case described.

    Some guys may need "I am not interested and will never be." I know guys who have heard that and didn't go off with a croquet mallet.

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  89. Oops I made it sound like the hypothetical guy was naked. By my word construction "wasn't dressed..." oh never mind. In my scenario the hypothetical guy IS wearing clothes.

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  90. WOW WOW WOW truly psychotic letters. wow

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  91. wow, that has gotta be the creepiest post yet!

    This is why all my online accounts are friends only...

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  92. I disagree that there were no warning signs in the beginning (which is what you seem to be implying by stating that the reasons only surfaced after the fact). [...]

    Any innocuous thing can be called a portent or warning sign. The claims are valid only with test and scrutiny, ie, proof. Without this, it's false cause fallacy: it's unproven, not good reason, and not worth endorsing.

    Contrary to what you say, he always showed strict, undue interest and dedication for a typical blogger. This inconclusively suggests any number of things. Not before she reads his absurd IP comment after the server choking e-mail flood does she know with good reason that he's psychotically delusional. That's after she drops hints, ignores him, and bans his IP. The section was about that, and to be abundantly clear, the section's heading was 'DELUSIONAL'.

    Until that absurd message, she only knows he is unduly interested in her, socially discomforts her, and can Google and use public records.

    And you're claiming she shouldn't honestly express her disinterest instead of dropping hints? It's not even worth a try before totally ignoring? She already knows it won't work? On what basis?

    First, turning down gifts doesn't unambiguously say anything. She doesn't want him to spend money on her, or she doesn't like the gift, or she already has one, etc, are just a few explanations.

    Next, you overstate certainty of a tendancy for a condition (erotomania) you don't prove he has (and are in no position to). Even so, there is no telling his reaction had she honestly told him 'no'. Possibly, he was a bit more sensible before descending into psychosis.

    Everyone is a victim of something. I already explained criticizing is not blaming. Discounting a point I never made (she's a tease) is still a strawman fallacy and still poisoning the well.

    Another for defeatism, ambiguous signals are clear, unsupported assertions, discounting a claim I didn't make.
    New: justifying a conclusion (good), misrepresenting a tendancy as a certainty

    Thank you for mansplaining it to us, anon. Now go check your privilege.

    This privilege is delicious. Thank you, but I'm anonymous.

    New: ad hominem, mansplain (love it!)

    So Mr. Anon, are you why women hate men?

    Another 'why do you hate America?'. Not new.

    Blah, blah, now you're Miss Manners. Whatever, anon.

    New: words that say nothing!
    You can save yourself 8 words and blank post next time.

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  93. *GASP* Oh my goodness anon, I couldn't help noticing the chip on your shoulder.

    It's so... biiiiiiiiiiiiiig...

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  94. *GASP* Oh my goodness anon, I couldn't help noticing the chip on your shoulder.

    It's so... biiiiiiiiiiiiiig...


    Like the chip of not saying what you mean, then bringing grievance here and taking quick offense? I don't know.

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  95. I don't know anyone who would refuse a gift from someone they knew because they "didn't like it" or "already had one". Generally, adults, who live outside of their own rectums, will accept a gift from a friend or loved one, regardless of how they feel about the gift itself, especially when it's given spontaneously (not for a birthday or other special occasion). To NOT accept it would be considered rude, because it's not about the gift itself, but about the sentiment of the person giving it. Your response to such a gift reflects not so much your feelings about the gift, but about the giver. Liking or loving the giver determines the response to the gesture and not to the gift itself.

    By that same logic, if a person you really DON'T like gives you a gift, refusing it sends a clear message of, at the very LEAST, non-interest in the giver. It's a matter of basic reciprocity.

    Anonymous, pull your head out of your sphinctor. You clearly have feelings on this issue and you'll get a lot more satisfaction if you actually choose to live among real humans.

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  96. I don't know anyone who would refuse a gift from someone they knew because they "didn't like it" or "already had one".

    Contrary to fact.

    Interesting you think everyone abides by the same values/theory, ie, that adults accept any gift from someone they care about. Basis?

    If a person offers a gift, and you don't like them, then you reject it? Really? Everyone does that? How about if you accept a gift? Does that mean you like them?

    Let's even suppose that's true, and you reject someone's gift offer. Does that mean you don't like them? If a jar contains 1 pebble, then it's non-empty. A jar is non-empty. Does that mean it contains 1 pebble?

    TL;DR we've already discussed this. It's not clear.

    Odd you should mention reciprocity. If a person would tell you what they mean, shouldn't you tell them what you mean?

    You clearly have feelings: I'm not tossing insults.

    Old: unfounded generalization, hints are obvious, insults
    New: reciprocity

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  97. Is it just me or are cetain posts starting to read like a PLFM?

    Some people are getting really hung up on weird stuff.

    DIMPLES

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  98. So you say that bleach and ammonia aren't powerful enough cleaners by themselves? Well, you should try harnessing their combined cleaning power by mixing them together! That should work! Why the hell are you so opposed to trying this? You say that it creates poisonous chlorine gas, but how do you know until you try? Who cares if common knowledge says it's not a good thing to do? Common sense dictates that two good things combined are even better, so you best get trying that shit!

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  99. haha, some anony-tard is chronically butthurt. way to suck balls, serial anony-poster.

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  100. This is both sad and terrifying. It was obviously a horrible experience for Heather. But it's also a horrible thing that police were needed before this man was given the help he so desperatly needed. Mental illness is just that: an illness. Somewhere along the line his friends and family wrote him off instead of hauling him to a doctor. It's hellish coping with the mentally ill, especially when you don't know what's going on (believe me I know) but intervention should have occured a lot earlier and shouldn't have had to come from a complete stranger.

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  101. Mr. Teal Deer:

    The point



    your head

    Also: Why are you speaking like Soundwave?

    I'm confused - in Kami's post, the anonymice told us that all women are supposed to be able to tell right off the bat when men are creepy and not respond at all. Now they're saying we are obligated to respond to creepers and cross our fingers and pray to an uncaring universe that they don't go crazier than they already are?

    MAKE UP YOUR MIND, INTERNETZ

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  102. When are you going to update? It's been a week!

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  103. but how do you know until you try? Who cares if common knowledge says it's not a good thing to do? Common sense dictates that two good things combined are even better, so you best get trying that shit!

    Because it's science (ie, actual knowledge), unlike your position (that honest communication fails). 'Common knowledge/sense' itself is not good reason. In any case, I encourage you to try that combination.

    New: weak analogy.

    haha, some anony-tard is chronically butthurt. way to suck balls, serial anony-poster.

    Old: insults.

    women are supposed to be able to tell right off the bat when men are creepy

    You're misreading. If it's encouragement to form quick, unfair judgments offhand, then one of you wrote (or imagined) it.

    MAKE UP YOUR MIND, INTERNETZ

    Clearly, women can't do both. They can't say what they mean and quickly cut someone away. They can't be honest and open and keep themselves safe. Perhaps they can't wear clothes and walk, either.

    Old: insult, straw man
    New: false dilemma

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  104. This anonymous dude is cracking me the fuck up. Ladies, not all of us dudes are completely fucktarded as this dude. Either this dude is a troll being contrary for the hell of it, or he's just completely missing the point.

    Because you seem to have missed the whole point of this post, Monsieur Anonymous, it is extremely obvious that Martin is (was?) mentally ill. His behavior has shown that his thought processes are not compatable with those of people who are not mentally ill. He has also proven that there's a good chance of him becoming dangerous by exhibiting behavior that has shown he is obsessed with Heather and because he has taken great lengths to have contact with her in the meatspace (i.e. by being able to track her down with very little personal information about her available on the internet). What about Martin's behavior indicates that he's safe to interact with? Most people realize that interacting with Martin like one normally would with somebody who isn't mentally ill is potentially dangerous. Now why do you keep insisting that everyone should give Martin a chance and try to let him down like a "normal" person when everything indicates that his thought processes are so out of whack that he just doesn't get it?

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  105. STEPHEN ROOT IS A KLINGON!

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  106. 8 out of 10 mental health professionals agree Martin is a nutter. The other 2 were paid off by Martin's lawyer.

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  107. Psssh. You're just a person, not David Bowie. Your argument is invalid. Next troll, please.

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  108. Because you seem to have missed the whole point of this post, Monsieur Anonymous, it is extremely obvious that Martin is (was?) mentally ill.

    Which is not my point or what I'm contesting. Again, she knows this only much later and should have tried verbal communication. Nothing here proves he wasn't lucid enough before his psychosis became evident: it may have worked before then. Even if it doesn't, it's a good idea.

    Old: misrepresentation, retroactive thinking

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  109. Bitch, why are you still talking? Didn't I tell you that you weren't David Bowie? NEXT!

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  110. How's that working out for you?

    What?

    Being clever.

    Great.

    Keep it up then.

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  111. I am glad Heather is safe, and have to add that I hope Martin isn't simply languishing in jail and is now getting treatment and meds.
    Can someone elaborate on "geneva mails from abroad 4 years ago"???? I assume it's a reference to some sort of virus that hit Martin's computer.

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  112. Your argument is invalid. [...] Bitch, why are you still talking? Didn't I tell you that you weren't David Bowie? NEXT!

    Invalidity is fairly easy to prove, and you don't prove it. Again, I'm anonymous.

    Old: failure to prove, insults, ad hominem

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  113. Mother fuckin donkey slapper, wishing you were logical like a fuckin Stoic-ass Spock or some shit. I'm the Mack Daddy of this here Internet and Imma whup you upside your head if you don't simmer your concord-grape snorting ass down.

    Here's some Old for you: Failure to prove you're not a Muzak-humpin not-Bowie

    And some New: Or maybe not.

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  114. So a serious inquiry for you, Anonymous. Do you have some sort of autism or something similar? Because you don't seem to be understanding when people are being serious and when they're being humorous (or at least facetious). It's pretty obvious that the David Bowie pimp (Honestly, WTF?) and a few other people were just shitting you, but you're treating their comments like they're being serious. Just curious.

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  115. I know, I know, I shouldn't feed the troll, but after reading through all of these comments at once, I can't resist:

    You made a comment at some point (I can't be bothered to scroll through all your tl;dr replies at the mo) that we have the benefit of retroactively labelling Martin as delusional, and before that, Heather should have tried the direct NO approach.

    While I agree that a straightforward no of some sort is the best way to deal with most unwanted men, I have to argue with your timeline of when we (and Heather) could pinpoint Martin as crazycakes.

    BEFORE the conference: Martin appears to be a regular, if a little more devoted than usual blogger. From the post, he hasn't made any untoward advances at this point that would give Heather a reason to say your much-touted firm NO to deter him. To quote: she "figured he was just some odd character with too much time on his hands ... [and] answered a few of his questions out of common courtesy". Note the important FEW there: she didn't respond to his each and every email, and there isn't any indication that he was imagining a relationship with her. (Given that this is PLFM, if they were crazy emails already, they would have been included in the post. And please don't say this isn't proven, since you have no proof to suggest that his emails WERE crazy/suggestive/whatever already.)

    AT the conference: He shows up knowing her real name, when she has apparently "taken some rather extreme measures to protect her identity". At this point, you can assume from that level of dedicated cyberstalking, that Martin is not in any way playing with a full deck. He made a point of going into her life, which she had made a point of keeping private. At that point, I'm sorry Mr/Ms/Whatever Anon, he has invaded her privacy and has passed the point at which a polite refusal would be merited. After all, he didn't just come up with presents and gush "hey, I really like your blog and I think you're amazing" etc, etc, which is harmless, if potentially a bit awkward for the blogger.

    AFTER the conference: His level of delusion just becomes increasingly apparent, to the point that even her blocking his IP doesn't even register.

    I suppose you can argue (as you undoubtedly will) that she could have said "no" at any point. My question is, said no to what? And when? By the time he started making his advances clear to Heather, it was already MORE than clear to Heather that he was creepy and obsessive and best dealt with at arm's length.

    Given your posts up to this point, I imagine you'll have a nicely structured rebuttal to this. But, as someone else posted above (and since arguing with you is ultimately an exercise in futility): DIMPLES. DAVID BOWIE. ZOMG INTERNETZ.

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  116. Mr. Anon, I post this knowing full well it will just bounce off the teflon of your pseudointellectualism, but oh hell, why not?

    Here's the thing - I don't think that your verbiage makes as much logical sense as you seem to think it does. "Contrary to what you say, he always showed strict, undue interest and dedication for a typical blogger." What does that mean? If we are using the same definition of the word "undue", then I really don't understand what you are saying here. You admit he is showing undue interest, but insist this isn't cause for concern?

    "Not before she reads his absurd IP comment after the server choking e-mail flood does she know with good reason that he's psychotically delusional." We can agree to disagree here. As I stated above, showing up at the conference armed with gifts and personal information about her was a warning sign. You can choose to believe it was not. I'm a mental health professional, so I will trust my own opinion on that point.

    "And you're claiming she shouldn't honestly express her disinterest instead of dropping hints?" No sir, if you look back on my posts (hard to do with another anon, I know, but you are clever enough to figure out which are mine), you will see that in my first post responding to you, I very specifically said that women can and should be more willing to offer a simple "sorry, not interested". A minor point I made was that this goes against our socialization, and is thus difficult to do. My major point was that in this case IT WOULD NOT HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE.

    "Even so, there is no telling his reaction had she honestly told him 'no'. Possibly, he was a bit more sensible before descending into psychosis." Here we disagree again. I do not see a descent or progession into psychosis here. I see a delusional man who had the delusion all along and only progressed in his expression of it. You imply or state again and again that "if only she'd politely told him she wasn't interested in the beginning, he might have gone on his merry way and this wouldn't have happened." This is not so. And implicit in this statement is the accusation that Heather's inaction (by your standards) is at least indirectly responsible for Marvin's "descent into psychosis". You pretty clearly seem to believe that she was playing some sort of mind games with him, and that these were detrimental to his mental health. Blaming. The. Victim.

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  117. I'm the Mack Daddy of this here Internet and Imma whup you upside your head if you don't simmer your concord-grape snorting ass down.

    You're irrational. As I already told you, I'm anonymous. You're claiming I'm not David Bowie. This is also ad ignorantiam. Though I would hope David Bowie has more going on in his career than to argue with you.

    Old: ad ignorantiam

    Do you have some sort of autism or something similar?

    Of course, it's needling. Treating it the same has a way of turning it back. Example: you. On the internet, everyone has autism.

    Given that this is PLFM, if they were crazy emails already, they would have been included in the post.

    Assumption: she saved insignificant (at the time) e-mails.

    At this point, you can assume from that level of dedicated cyberstalking, that Martin is not in any way playing with a full deck.

    Assumption: creepy = CRAZY OMG TAKE COVER. And dedicated? You underestimate the power of basic Google-fu and public records. Stalking used to mean prohibitively inconvenient effort and not a simple ID search. Here's a less suggestive way to put it: he's skillful with the search function and creeps her out. Psychosis is not yet the best explanation. Moreover, his delusion may not yet have been severe enough to render upfront communication ineffective.

    I suppose you can argue (as you undoubtedly will) that she could have said "no" at any point. My question is, said no to what?

    Again. Examine her process: she declines his gifts, drops a hint on her website, ignores him, bans his IP, etc. She already knew her objection and was reacting in ways less effective. The start of this is when. Anonymous discusses what.

    You people are just not trying to honestly think this through.

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  118. You admit he is showing undue interest, but insist this isn't cause for concern?

    Not proof talking won't work.

    We can agree to disagree here.

    Warning sign is not conclusive reason. There are other possibilities. We can agree you are wrong.

    I'm a mental health professional

    I'm a 'mental health professional', too. Fortunately, the logic of possibility and necessity doesn't require mental health expertise: appeal to false authority.

    My major point was that in this case IT WOULD NOT HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE.

    You can't prove that. Thus, you don't actually know it. I already pointed out your fallacy: tendency is not certainty.

    I see a delusional man who had the delusion all along and only progressed in his expression of it.

    Or it actually became more severe (with desperation) and a change in expressiveness does not account. You can't discount the possibility. Earlier, his mental state may have been receptive to verbal communication.

    Again, criticism is not blame. Victim is a matter of perspective. Further, rejecting a possibility because you dislike a consequence (eg, the 'victim' has a fault) is not reason. It's an appeal to consequence. Truth, not what you dislike, matters. The overused plea of 'blaming the victim' is an appeal to consequence.

    I wrote and suggested none of those things. Strawman fallacy.

    It's interesting you will confidently diagnose someone you've never interviewed, based on second hand account. Not a professional move. You're embarrassingly biased.

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  119. You keep insisting that the rest of us can't assert that nothing Heather could have done would have changed the outcome here. But you cannot prove that following your advice would have lead to a better outcome. So how are your arguments different from anyone else's here? We are all offering opinions. My opinion based on the e-mails printed here is that Marvin's presentation is most consistent with a delusional disorder. Am I formally diagnosing him? Of course not. If you are also a mental health professional and cannot see the level of pathology in his behaviors and communications (e.g. discussions of secret codes and puzzles), then I would venture a guess that you are embarrassingly incompetent.

    "Warning sign is not conclusive reason. There are other possibilities." You are a mental health professional, but you advocate that women should ignore warning signs because signs are not absolute proof? I hope you have no daughters.

    "Again, criticism is not blame." Really. "If you had behaved differently, you wouldn't have experienced this negative consequence" isn't blame? Your statements don't inherently hold Heather responsible (in large part) for what happened? If you are holding her responsible and claiming that different actions on her part could/would have yielded different results, then how is that not blame? Perhaps we have a different definition of the word?

    You are certainly getting your money's worth out of that "Intro to Logic" course you took in junior college, I'll give you that.

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  120. So not only do you not know how to recognize humor, but you also think that everyone is out to get you. No, I was not trying to insult you. And no, I don't think "everyone" on the internet has autism. Most other people in these comments seem to be able to distinguish when somebody's not being serious. You're the one who can't seem to distinguish between somebody who's trying to argue with you and somebody who's going out of their way to be full of shit. It still blows me away that you still think that the David Bowie Pimp is being serious. Of course he's being irrational, he's being facetious! That's the point! Does that concept totally blow your mind or something? Y'know, a simple "yes" or "no" would've answered my question nicely. But you chose to get offended and evade the question.

    P.S. We all know you're not David Bowie because he has a sense of humor (or humour, I suppose, in his case) and knows how to spell ad ignorantiam correctly.

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  121. But you cannot prove that following[:] your advice would have lead to a better outcome. So how are your arguments different from anyone else's here?

    You're not reading: I always wrote it may have. They're denying a possibility that cannot be ruled out. I affirm it's possible and show this denial lacks basis, so their 'opinion' is not very valuable. I also raise independent reasons direct communication should be attempted.

    Am I formally diagnosing him? Of course not.

    No, you proclaim your diagnosis as certain truth and claim to back it by authority. Again, not a professional move. Reasons for a pathology become clear later. Again, you're not reading.

    You are a mental health professional, but you advocate that women should ignore warning signs because signs are not absolute proof?

    No, they're points to inquire and consider, not conclusive proof. Inquiring and considering are not ignoring. I never wrote anything about ignoring. Again, straw man. Read.

    "If you had behaved differently, you wouldn't have experienced this negative consequence" isn't blame?

    Not my quote. Moreover, no. Actions having (unintended) consequences is a fact of life. You're still responsible for your own actions. If you believe that is blame, then you are blaming her. I, however, know what blame is, so learn what blame is before you use it to derail whatever you disagree with.

    You are certainly getting your money's worth out of that "Intro to Logic" course you took in junior college, I'll give you that.

    You are not getting yours out of remedial reading.

    Old: straw men, insults

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  122. My reading level is more than adequate, thanks. You seem to like picking and choosing small sections of posts that you can pick apart and ignoring the gestalt of an argument. Otherwise, perhaps you'd have noticed that 2 or 3 times above (including my first and last posts) I acknowledged that women should be more assertive in expressing their disinterest. Here, maybe CAPS will help:

    YES, I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WOMEN SHOULD BE MORE ASSERTIVE IN EXPRESSING THEIR DISINTEREST.

    Maybe there is more than one anon here who could benefit from a "remedial reading course".

    Old: pot, kettle

    "You're still responsible for your own actions. If you believe that is blame, then you are blaming her. I, however, know what blame is, so learn what blame is before you use it to derail whatever you disagree with." Alrighty, let's consult the dictionary. BLAME: To hold responsible for, to place the responsibility for (a fault, error, etc.). Wow, you're totally right - assigning responsibility for an outcome has nothing to do with blame. Thanks for correcting me on that one. Let's look at the synonyms listed for blame: reproach, reprove, reprehend, criticize. What was I thinking, you were in no way reproaching or criticizing Heather, right? "Having (unintended) consequences is a fact of life. You're still responsible for your own actions." But somehow Marvin is not responsible for HIS own actions?

    As for "proclaiming (my) diagnosis as certain truth", well let's roll back the tape and see what I actually wrote in my first post: "He might be schizophrenic, more likely erotomanic." "Might be" and "more likely" are hardly proclamations of certain truths. Delusions and psychoses are symptoms, not diagnoses. In later posts I used the term erotomania as shorthand for his behavior, because it looks like the most likely diagnosis based on his e-mails. Let's say someone posted "when my boyfriend filed his taxes he claimed our dinners out as business expenses". If an accountant or tax lawyer reads that and responds "that's tax evasion/fraud and the penalties for that are...", is he being professionally irresponsible for labelling the behavior even though he hasn't seen it first hand or gotten the boyfriend's side of the story? I look at Marvin's e-mails and see a metric assload of quacking, and my response is "sounds like a duck to me." There's nothing inappropriate about that.

    ReplyDelete
  123. You seem to like picking and choosing small sections of posts that you can pick apart and ignoring the gestalt of an argument.

    I'm not going to repost your entire comment and waste space on the parts that don't need comment.

    YES, I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WOMEN SHOULD BE MORE ASSERTIVE IN EXPRESSING THEIR DISINTEREST.

    You later deny it's worth a try and discount reasons they should: you're having your cake and eating it. Dishonest. You claim I say things I do not. Straw man. You stoop to insults. Desperate.

    Wow, you're totally right - assigning responsibility for an outcome has nothing to do with blame.

    That's what you mean? If she has any responsibility, then she has blame? Several things wrong: (1) Dictionaries are not the final authority on semantics. They're incomplete: you must account for context and use. Linguists know this. Apparently, you don't. (2) 'Responsibility' in your definition refers to moral responsibility (obligation). Blame in the absence of obligation is meaningless, eg, honest errors, happy accidents, and uncontrollable mistakes lack cause for blame. (3) Causal responsibility may exist without moral responsibility: a moral agent may satisfy or not have an obligation to control an outcome. You obfuscate causality (a matter of fact) and morality (a matter of values). You really don't know what blame is. Equivocation.

    But somehow Marvin is not responsible for HIS own actions?

    He isn't? Straw man.

    "Might be" and "more likely" are hardly proclamations of certain truths.

    See She responded correctly by ignoring him as much as possible after that. People with erotomania live and breathe for contact with the object of their affection.. What's the supposition? See There is nothing that she could have done to prevent this man's obsession. [...] IT WOULD NOT HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE. On what premise? Any qualification? No: certainty.

    You're arguing a position by suppressing what you wrote contrary to it.

    Delusions and psychoses are symptoms, not diagnoses.

    In this case you infer it under highly removed circumstances. Diagnosis.

    If an accountant or tax lawyer reads that and responds "that's tax evasion/fraud and the penalties for that are...", is he being professionally irresponsible for labelling the behavior even though he hasn't seen it first hand or gotten the boyfriend's side of the story?

    Yes. You ever get a message from a lawyer? Unless they're working for you, they include a liability-releasing disclaimer that states their opinion is not to be taken authoritatively. They don't have a full account. Your authoritative claim is dubious.

    New: equivocation, suppressing evidence
    Old: everything else

    ReplyDelete
  124. You people are just not trying to honestly think this through.

    And here you're showing your complete lack of understanding of what these sort of situations are like. You are talking about machines, not about people. The rest of the posters here seem to understand that people are messy and ruled by emotions.
    Fear causes an instinctive course of life preservation - AVOID THIS PERSON AT ALL COSTS. Fear does NOT think rationally and go "Maybe I should seek out this source of fear and tell them 'No'" because that is completely counter-intuitive. Your lack of understanding and empathy about this is really quite astonishing.

    ReplyDelete
  125. Your lack of understanding and empathy about this is really quite astonishing.

    So arguing not to do whatever your emotions tell you is a lack of understanding? You shouldn't do something that has reason to work, that a decent person should do? You should perform a series of actions open to interpretation without the benefit of a clear statement? You might as well argue 'Life is tough in the suburbs. You've never had it so tough!'.

    Emotions do not lead to the best course of action. Your argument might work if everyone only knew how to act like children. However, we normally learn impulse control.

    ReplyDelete
  126. I know a guy like this... he makes about as much sense as Martin too. Thank goodness he hasn't focused on me!

    ReplyDelete
  127. I think anon (the flamed one) made a simple observation that she should have at least tried direct communication. Innocuous enough. This thread would be half as long if you all had granted the point and moved on.

    ReplyDelete
  128. I granted his point more than once, but he ignored that in favor of continuing his debate.

    I stopped responding because I was able to step back and realize that anon completely lost sight of any relevant issues here. This site is called Psychotic Letters from Men. Martin's letters (e-mails) are clearly very, very disturbed. Regardless of the hows, whens, and whys (and should-haves), nothing changes those basic facts. Anon can entertain himself as much as he likes arguing the finer points of debating, linguistics, syntax, and semantics, but those are completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand. He completely lost sight of the apparent fact (assuming the story was true) that two real human beings suffered a great deal because of the mental illness of one. The rest is just bullshit.

    As my former boss used to say, fighting on the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics - even if you win, you're still retarded.

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  129. I granted his point more than once, but he ignored that in favor of continuing his debate.

    See: You later deny it's worth a try and discount reasons they should: you're having your cake and eating it. Disingenuity.

    I stopped responding because I was able to step back and realize that anon completely lost sight of any relevant issues here.
    Did he? Because it looks like he was answering questionable contests.

    He completely lost sight of the apparent fact (assuming the story was true) that two real human beings suffered a great deal because of the mental illness of one.
    Digression. It's not 'losing sight' when the subject is already different.

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  130. Thanks for proving my point, sugar. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  131. Thanks for proving my point, sugar. ;-)
    Thank your confirmation bias.

    ReplyDelete
  132. This is why I have a problem with this site... the people commenting to these posts. Martin was clearly mentally unstable. Nothing to make fun about, nothing to laugh at. I feel extremely sorry for Heather and I'm glad she's safe now. But, there's a difference between controlling assholes and truly unhealthy people.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Martin's behavior is disturbing and intimidating, but there's nothing mysterious about it. I'm amazed at the number of people who seem to be actually attempting to attract a Martin.

    http://stalkersinparadise.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  134. Anon 5.12

    1/ What's done is done, and it's easy to look back after the fact and say 'You should have done that!'
    2/She sent him emails, how do we know she didn't say no in them?
    3/How do you know how he would have reacted to an unequivical 'No, I don't like you, go away'? Now I don't claim I do, but if there is potential for it to go bad, shouldn't personal safety be paramount?

    ReplyDelete
  135. How do you know how he would have reacted to an unequivical 'No, I don't like you, go away'?
    How do you know it won't? History proves it can work. Simplicity and clarity dictate you should.

    Now I don't claim I do, but if there is potential for it to go bad, shouldn't personal safety be paramount?
    Sending a sequence of characters using electronic signals is no great risk. History/experience shows this, too. The low risk and beneficial chance is worth it. Pragmatism dictates this action should be taken.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Clara said...
    Sounds like de Clérambault's syndrome - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotomania

    The telepathy, seeing riddles and patterns in behaviour that somehow send the suffer signals, it all fits. It was also featured in Ian McEwans' Enduring Love.

    I hope he gets help.


    I was thinking the same thing—as soon as he mentioned the whole "riddles and puzzles" it clicked (leaving "messages" coded in touched leaves or curtains). It's an awful thing for either person to go through—the afflicted and the person who is object of his fixation (of course). I hope Heather feels safe now... I can't imagine the stress of this sort of situation. Or how frightening it must have been at times.

    Man, I feel horrible now... I need chocolate.

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  137. /: idk if it's funny when he's actually psychotic. i mean, obviously it was a horrible experience and i have every sympathy for her, but mocking someone with an actual mental problem...a bit ablist, wouldn't you say?

    ReplyDelete
  138. anon 3:50

    Guess what happens when one is clear and precise? You think the git that bugs you will suddenly transform into a human being that respects and listens to others?

    Have you even tried that?

    I have, several times.
    Results were: Beating, verbal abuse, threats, more stalking, threats delivered to my loved ones and so on.

    Why should anyone risk that? What does one benefit from actually inviting the psycho to harm oneself and people one care about?

    So that you can feel that their behaviour is acceptable? Well, no one owes you anything.

    Go spread your bad advice to others like yourself. And I hope you won't become the target of one of these loonies, because you will probably act in a way that increases the likelihood of violence if you do.

    But then again you seem to be one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  139. who WANTS the object of their affections to have a mental breakdown? WTF.

    ReplyDelete
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