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Beware

We all know this. We all know that anything written, whether online or in a hard copy, can come back to haunt the writer practically forever. We know that private messages, private email, private communication of any kind, are not necessarily private.

One party agrees

The recipient can give the letter to your brother, or forward the email to your boss, or make a screen shot of the private message and post it on Facebook.

It's not illegal.

wax seal

But when somebody does it, they destroy whatever trust the other person had in them. Some things are simply immoral without being illegal.

So, with that in mind, here is a warning. These folks can and will share your private messages. They can and will doctor them to make you say things you didn't say. They can and will make screen shots of what you say in private groups and post them publicly.

Camille K. Lewis

PM with me

This quote is from a private message between me and Camille. The "reader" who "passed this along" was Camille, of course. Here's the whole exchange - not just the snippet that is quoted here.

PM with Jeffrey

And this is Camille talking with Jeffrey Hoffman. They posted a blue zillion of these, and I never did figure out exactly what they were trying to prove.

from Storify

This is from Dan Keller's Storify page. It's a mind-numbingly boring thing to try to wade through, but you're welcome to try. Be warned - it goes on for page after page after page. But the point is that Camille provided much of it, as did Cathy Harris and Dan Keller.

The page pretty much exists to vilify Jeffrey for anything and everything that Dan can dig up.

Cathy Harris

PM to Rebecca

You don't even have to respond to these people to have them use private messages against you. The story behind this one involves a situation where Rebecca knew what was going on and just decided not to reply. This is, of course, her choice, and it was actually a very wise one. But that doesn't stop them.

And they often use "So-and-so has never once spoken to me/Cathy/whoever. Does that seem fair to you?" Don't fall for it. If you "speak" to them, no matter the method, they can and will use what you say against you when and if you ever disagree with them or get on their bad side. It's pretty much guaranteed.

Rebecca has been slammed repeatedly on the various Manhater pages. Her crime? She "liked" Beth's original page, early on. Briefly. That's it. She's not in cahoots with me. I've never spoken to her on the phone in my life. We have shared a couple of emails but not about Cathy or any of her followers - about an entirely different subject. She is not a Facebook friend of mine.

You don't have to do much to get body-slammed.

PM with DJ

And if you happen to be dead, that's even better. There's nobody to come up with the entire conversation so we can't know context at all. Nor can we know if this one has been altered in any way.

This was presented to "prove" that Cathy was nice to DJ and Beth wasn't. So DJ killed herself. Only she didn't.

Linda M. Fossen

Linda M. Fossen

Not to be outdone by the other two, Maytag jumps into the pond. She posts this gem, telling us that she unfriended somebody because that person dared to "like" a page that Linda didn't approve of. Wrap yourself around that one for a second. The person responded politely. I wouldn't have done so.

I once had somebody contact me in a PM to tell me that she didn't really approve of the atheist-oriented stuff I posted on my Facebook page. Not only did I not respond, I made sure that she never had to be bothered with seeing anything of mine again in her life. I'm helpful like that.

What I didn't do, however, was take a screen shot of the message and plaster it all over social media.

Linda M. Fossen

And email. Oh, gee, email. Fossen uses email to try to start an argument so she can then go onto Facebook and post the whole thing, or almost the whole thing, which she did here. I cut it short just to save space. If you'd like to see the whole exchange, contact me and I'll be happy to provide a copy.

Linda M. Fossen

This is the part she left out when she copied it all. I cannot imagine why.

Dan Keller

Dan Keller

Pay close attention to what Dan is saying here. He's the "owner" of the screen shot - of me making a comment. He owns it. I do not. He has declared this to be so.

It makes no difference at all what the actual legalities are here. He could be right for all I know. The point is that he thinks it's just fine to do whatever he likes with my words, shared with him in private.

Dan Keller

And furthermore, it's okay for him to record you without telling you. He's right. This is legal in South Carolina. But he's good with that.

Dan Keller

And here's what happens to that off-hand comment I made in a private message to Dan Keller. He doctors it, removing words that change the meaning of what I said entirely, and then posts it all over social media, berating me for "laughing at rape."

The comment was made in response to his declaration that Cathy Harris had "eyewitnesses" to her life story.

It was quite some time after this happened before I began to realize that Cathy has actually made that claim to people and that they actually believe it to be true.

Beth James

But see, it doesn't matter that Dan altered my words to make me say something I clearly did not say. Cathy had requested that be done. And whatever St. Catherine requests is law, don'tcha know. So says the fake attorney.

You know how Dan could have "respected her privacy"? By never giving that screen shot to anyone in the first place. I didn't do it. He did. If St. Cat got her feelings hurt, it's not my fault. It's his.

Karen Nelson Lee

Karen Nelson Lee

Wow Wow has to get in on the act, too. It's a funny thing, the way people are. The more of this shit they see around them, the more likely they are to think it's just fine to do it.

And you notice that Karen says that Beth "gives Cathy too much power," but nobody takes umbrage with that. They will, of course, if Karen ever irritates St. Catherine. The remark has been noted.

Karen Nelson Lee

And she continues posting some more.

Karen Nelson Lee

So we find out here that the conversation occurred because of "some concerns" Karen has raised on Beth's page. We don't know what concerns and never will because Wow Wow doesn't tell us, nobody got a screen shot and nobody remembers now. So it's impossible, you see, to put all this in context. But Beth is...BAD.

Karen Nelson Lee

She takes to posting them complete with neat notations. Isn't that nice? We really need Wow Wow's great perceptions about this stuff. After all, she is just so discerning and has such wisdom about evaluating stuff.

Because all this matters so much. It's just vital to the state of the free world.

Karen Nelson Lee

Oh, I see. Karen didn't mean for it to be public. She was notating it for law enforcement. Probably the special visitors that came to see me with shiny badges.

But she goes on to tell us it is totally okay.

Repeat: Beware

There is nothing that I know of that is illegal about any of this, as I said above.

But do not think that because you have a nice cozy relationship with any of these people right now, they will not do this to you if you ever disagree with them. At the time that I had that conversation with Dan Keller, I had said very little about my personal doubts about Cathy Harris' claims. Beth's page was up and I had participated a little bit. I had criticized Camille by writing the Research article on my blog. (And that was most likely what had Dan peeved.) But this web site did not exist. Dan and I were Facebook friends and had been for a couple of years. We'd shared some very nice conversations. I liked him. I thought he liked me okay.

I was very, very wrong.

Jeffrey Hoffman was friends with several of these people, good friends.

They can and will do this to you, too. Nobody is immune.

So, what do you do about it?

Whatever you like. As far as I am concerned, I wish I had never accepted a friend request from either Dan or Camille. I wish that I had removed myself immediately from any group where they participated, and avoided conversing with them on mutual friends' walls. And if I had it to do over again, I would have blocked them all from the start.

But I didn't know. There was no page like this to show me what they do with private messages and emails.

There is now.

If it's Boz, it's private

I wonder how long that will last...