Dear Shrink4Men Community Members,
I’m writing this post today to ask you for your help. I’m in need of donations to help me build a fighting fund. What am I fighting? I’m fighting to protect myself from malicious cyber-bullies who mounted a smear campaign against me last year with the sole purpose of maligning and harming the Shrink4Men website and forum.
Shrink4Men is a resource I provide for free to help men in abusive relationships and the people who care about them. Many male targets don’t have anywhere else to go for the kind of information I provide. I feel weird about passing the hat, but it is standard practice for bloggers and the time has come.
Last summer, I published an article that drew the attention and ire of a UK group who identified themselves as having Borderline Personality Disorder (and other maladies) and two individuals who claim to be registered mental nurses in the NHS system (UK health system) who act as the group’s ringleaders.
These individuals took offense to the aforementioned article because it stated that many individuals with Cluster B personality traits/diagnoses exhibit sociopathy. They attacked my site with inflammatory comments, name-calling and other attempts to incite conflict. To stop their feeding frenzy and false claims of victimization (projection), I locked the article down after 24 hours of their shenanigans, but it did not stop there.
Instead, they moved their attacks and malicious disparagement of me to their hub website, Twitter feeds, Facebook profiles and several of their individual blogs. They persisted in their attacks from August 18, 2010 until mid-October 2010.
During this time, they produced a lurid, sexually violent video in which they superimposed an image of me taken from my blog, pornographic wrestling footage, scenes from the movie “Carrie” and other bizarre images. They uploaded copies of it to YouTube, Vimeo and other video sharing sites. I was able to have the video removed for policy violations (i.e., because it was a form of cyber-bullying) on YouTube, Vimeo et al. They then posted the video on their websites and blogs, and created several “mock websites” using my name, my photo and the Shrink4Men title.
The sole purpose of their attacks was to destroy Shrink4Men’s Google search ranking so that other male victims in abusive relationships would not be able to find the Shrink4Men website. Their goal was to deny male victims of abuse information and support. They took particular offense at my advice that men end their relationships with abusive partners. Heaven forbid a male victim escape a female abuser. They explicitly stated this in their malicious rantings.
Furthermore, they didn’t have the courage to attack me using their real identities. Instead, they cravenly hid behind the anonymity of the Internet and would have continued to do so had I not had the good fortune to find Mr Peter Adediran.
In order to protect myself and my website, I searched for UK-based solicitors who handle cyber harassment cases, which led me to Mr Peter Adediran’s law firm. As luck would have it, I needed to be in London late last September for business reasons and was able to meet with Mr Adediran while I was there. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to Mr Adediran for his assistance and dogged determination to protect my human rights.
Mr Adediran quickly set out to establish the identity of my attackers by contacting the domain name registrar and the website host provider. Although the details of the domain name registrant were withheld as private, the information was released under the exceptions to the data protection act and the relevant clauses in the domain name registrar’s contract.
Mr Adediran contacted the domain name registrant, but the information given to the registrar and to the website host provider proved to be false. Mr Adediran obtained the IP address of the account holder of the website and an Order from the Mayor & City of London County Court for the release of the details of the registrant from the Internet Service Provider.
However, in order to run this case, I must issue it in Scotland, not England, and will need to instruct a barrister as well as a solicitor. The registrant has retained a very large well-known firm of solicitors with substantial resources. I can’t afford the legal fees to continue to fight for my right to be protected from abusive and degrading treatment pursuant to my human rights guaranteed by the law. I do my best to “walk the walk” in that I encourage men and women who follow my website not to tolerate abuse, harassment and bullying. I won’t tolerate it either, which is why I need your help now.
If you find the information and other resources I provide on my site valuable and believe these resources should be freely available to other men and women with abusive partners, I ask you to please contribute to the Shrink4Men fighting fund, so I can prove that freedom of expression is limited and does not supersede the rights of others not to be abused and degraded. The police do not seem able to devote the time and resources necessary for solving the problem, so law-abiding citizens have to go through a very expensive and technical process to protect their human rights. If I can win and publicize this case it will not only help me to keep my blog going, it will help to send a message to cyber-bullies that they are not above the law.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a business address to send checks or money orders vial post mail.
Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD