Letters From Dad?
There is a comment that was made on several different blogs a year or so ago that is floating around, being produced as supposed proof that Cathy Harris' stories of abduction, abuse, and physical injury are true. It has arisen yet again, this time over on the Truth Seeking 2nd Edition page on Facebook (now defunct), so I am going to address it here.
Here's the text:
email@example.com Submitted on 2013/02/21 at 5:49 am
I'm in the position to write, I know Cathy Harris. I've known her a large portion of her life. She isn't lying about what happened to her at the hands of that evil woman, Cleo. If anything, Cathy minimizes what she suffered on that farm.
Knowing that. I think Cathy was first used by the likes of Jocelyn Zichterman. Jocelyn was the one who convinced Cathy there was some grand conspiracy. Her adoptive pastor father had covered up the whole matter and allowed Cathy to suffer for years. It was ALL HIS FAULT, not Cleo's fault, Cathy's abductor. When Jocelyn Z. starting making claims that became more and more bazaar, Cathy, quietly tried to jump off Jocelyn's crazy train. It was then, Jocelyn turned on Cathy and became meaner than a junk yard hound that hasn't been fed for a week.
Then came this Camille Lewis and eventually Jeffrey Hoffman. They act like they're Cathy's friends. I wonder where they'll be when Cathy has another nervous breakdown, or ends up hospitalized from depression and PTSD. Or worse yet, commits suicide…. I'll tell you what I think will happen. Camille and Jeffrey (and the rest of this group of users, like this blog) will act as if they don't know Cathy.
She is being used. They've convinced her to speak out. But none of them are really care about her, or really want to help her (or in my opinion any of the other victims they claim to care so much about..) Camille and Jeffrey will just move on and find their next poster child for their cause.
I don't think it will do anyone any good to claim Cathy hasn't been abused. She's pretty shy about showing off her scars, (which is quite understandable,) but these types off allegations are only playing into the hands of those using her. All they have to do is convince Cathy to show GRACE the burn, whip, and other scars. Cathy doesn't need to take her blouse off to show the whip marks on her back, all she would have to do is roll up her sleeves, or just lift her skirt a short distance, or even take off her shoes. Cathy is covered with *real* scars from her face to her toes. Literal scars from burns (Cleo caused third-degree burns over more than 50 % of her body), to whip marks, to knife wounds. Cathy of all people doesn't need to be used by the likes of Camille Lewis and Jeffrey Hoffman. She's suffered enough. It's time you all do what they claim to what to do…. let her heal.
My, my. Oh, my. Proof. We have proof. This message, as I said, was posted in multiple places on or about the same day in 2013. In the case of the copy that was posted to the Facebook page, the sender is identified as "firstname.lastname@example.org." This means that somebody created a gmail account using that name. The person may or may not have been Dr. Richard Harris, Cathy Harris' adoptive father.
About the same day, the same message appeared on another blog, this time with the name "Concerned Pastor." The IP address was from Hatboro, PA. Oh, my. That has to be Dr. Richard Harris, doesn't it? It's proof. Isn't it?
Well, consider this (first image cropped just to save some space):
Well, well, well. Here we have another message from dear old Dad. Or do we? How would we know? Both of these are floating about the internet, both claim to be from Dr. Richard Harris.
There are three possibilities here. Let's consider them all.
Both messages are real.
I suppose that's possible, but I think it's highly unlikely. The writing is very different. In the first message, the supposed Dr. Harris insists that Cathy is fragile, might harm herself, was horribly abused and is being terribly used by various people. In the second email, he says that she needs to fend for herself.
The first message is written in a very disjointed fashion, using lots of clichés like "meaner than a junkyard dog" (where have you heard that line before, and is it really likely that an elderly pastor would have that easily roll off his keyboard?) Do you suppose he'd misuse the word "bazaar" when he meant "bizarre"? In the other email, the writing is deliberate and composed and far more educated. It's much more like the letter of a father trying to explain a bit of tough love to a daughter.
One message is a fake. The other is real.
This is certainly possible. How would one go about determining which was which, though? Both messages use email addresses from online free email providers. Either one could be easily faked. The bottom email could be entirely faked from start to finish by somebody with enough computer skills to make a word processor document appear like a printed out email. But the top one could have been sent by anyone who happened to be located in/near Hatboro, PA. That means it was Richard Harris, for real, doesn't it? Well, it doesn't. Lots of people live in or near Hatboro, PA, including Cathy Harris.
Is it reasonable to believe that Richard Harris went to the trouble to hastily compose a sort of rant about Cathy, and then posted it to multiple obscure blogs on the internet, all on or about the same day, cutting and pasting the same message over and over again? Why would he do this and use the email address that supposed clearly identifies who he is and then say "Her adoptive pastor father had covered up..."? Why wouldn't he have said "They accused ME of..." Of course, on at least one of the blogs involved, his email never appears and the only identification is the screen name "Concerned Pastor."
Both messages are fake.
Obviously this is a possibility. After all, these stuff is circulating through a community of people who regularly engage in using fake identities, make fake blogs and fake Facebook pages, and then congregate in who knows how many secret groups whispering about each other endlessly. Almost nobody involved seems to think this sort of subterfuge and deception is even odd. It certainly isn't considered immoral.
When faced with internet rumors, it's a much better policy to examine all the evidence, and discard anything that cannot be fully vetted.
Amd most certainly, this is not what you do - insinuate that this completely unvetted, absolutely unproven, comment somehow indicates that the man who wrote it raped or otherwise abused Cathy Harris. Not if you have a shred of intellectual honesty. And this person, using a fake name, of course, implies over and over again that s/he is a lawyer.
Rather than wondering which message is real, it's more reasonable to suppose that nothing, at least when it comes to this particular group of folks, is real.
"...perception is reality to everybody." -Dan Keller
Uh. No. It's not.
With this and a few others like it, I have confirmation that the second letter, the one via email, from Richard Harris is in fact authentic. Thanks.