This is a joint post by Iain Hall & Ray Dixon:
Ray Dixon: As many of you would be aware, Iain and I have been the subjects of a vicious on-line campaign conducted by certain anonymous cretins at an anonymously authored ‘hate-blog’ going by the name of ‘Stalk Watch’.
The SW blog, which has run continuously from late 2009 with literally thousands of often disgusting, untrue & defamatory comments, sanctimoniously claimed – without a hint of irony – to be dedicated to the eradication of Internet “scumbags” & “stalkers”,
HOWEVER, by its very nature and existence, the SW blog was effectively nothing more than a shady vehicle for pissants and cowards to stalk their perceived enemies on the flimsiest pretext of doing the Internet a ‘service’. Give …me … a … break.
The blog masthead depicting Robert De Niro’s Taxi Driver movie character ‘Travis Bickle’ (which name was also the blog author’s alias) with gun pointing, a support cast of creepy characters all using aliases (and many being the same person) and the nature of the commentary, were clearly designed to threaten & intimidate as well as inciting hatred and even violence. They actually made occasional death threats, or at least calls to violence, although were forced by the host WordPress to remove the worst of them. Thank you WP for the smallest of mercies.
You have to wonder what sort of insecure and malcontent people would go to the trouble of setting up and participating in such a hate-blog for the sole purpose of slagging the real life reputations of others. Repeatedly. To follow (i.e. stalk) their every comment and hang shit on their character, their families and businesses with outright defamation and crude insinuations.
There is no noble intent or justification in haranguing and harassing in this manner. The aim of the blog was clearly to do damage to our personal and/or business lives. As much as they could. To lie, embellish, denigrate and demean in a way that was ridiculously and absurdly out of proportion to whatever ‘sins’ they claimed (usually falsely) that we had committed.
Of course, not one of the people who participated in the herd mentality at that cesspit of a blog had the guts to write under their own name. Not one. Ironically and hypocritically, they claimed the reason for using anonymity was to guard against any repercussions on their real lives, which has to be the biggest bullshit defence ever written. In effect they were saying it was all okay and above-board for them to maximise the damage done to us, but not okay for us to seek to defend ourselves.
Their premise is the one of very weak individuals who have no self-esteem and, consequently, no respect for others or appreciation of their actions. It is the sociopathic profile of the classic stalker – a weak and insecure person, socially inept and under-achieving. Or, even if achieving somewhat, not entirely happy with their lot in life. That is why they love to bring others down to their level – because they are about as low as anyone gets … and they know it.
In short, the scum behind that blog are representative of life’s real losers, self loathers and pessimists. They hate. They hate themselves. They hate everyone else and the only thing that makes them feel the slightest bit better is to stick it to those who they see as easy targets.
All. From. The. Coward’s. Position. Of. Anonymity … of course.
Anyway, to cut a really long story into just a long one, earlier this month Iain & I decided that enough was enough and that the only way to bring these f*ckers to a heel was to take them on – full frontal. Which we did on a little-known and obscure side-blog of Iain’s that hardly anyone read. Well, anyone but the handful of twisted obsessives behind Stalk Watch.
From that small bastion of independence we hammered their credibility daily and drew their attention to their own hypocrisies, lies and poor behaviour. We stood firm and returned a lot better than we got; make no mistake, this was full-on ‘blog wars’. It soon became apparent that we had them rattled so we turned up the heat.
Again, to cut to the quick, it all culminated with this post I wrote yesterday directed squarely at the blog owner “Bickle”, letting him know that I had ‘his number’ (i.e. his full identity, employment, etc) and that I was ready to act on it. I wrote:
Bickle, I’m going to tell you something. Sit down, shut up, listen and think:
There is a point where ‘mockery’ crosses the line into harassment.
There is a point where ‘mockery’ crosses the line into defamation.
There is a point where ‘mockery’ crosses the line into bullying.
There is a point where ‘mockery’ crosses the line into criminal stalking.
You and your blog have crossed those lines a long time ago.
You continue to cross them.
You are in breach of several laws – civil & criminal.
You could be hunted down, arrested, charged, convicted and jailed.
That would do a lot of damage to YOUR reputation, not to mention your liberty.
You’d be stuffed. No one would listen to your advice. Ever. Again.
You are not so well off that you can afford for that to happen, are you?
You are not retired.
You rely on your ‘good name’.
All that will go if you are caught out for this activity.
You are risking everything here.
You are a fool.
Delete your blog before it’s too late.
And before you say, “Is that a threat”, I’ll give you the same answer as before:
Take it any way you like … just don’t take me lightly.
After a few hours the o-so-courageous “Bickle” put this tail-between-his-legs post up pathetically saying he was going to delete the blog (unless someone else took it over) on the grounds he no longer had the time to administer it:
Yeah, just like Senator Mark ‘Rat’ Arbib resigned for ‘family reasons’. Sure. So in the early hours of today I put this in the comments section of his filthy, stinking blog:
What a nice way to start the day. Cowards never win. Just remember XXXXXX XXXXXXXX, I know where the bodies are buried. Now it’s over to Iain.
Iain Hall: As of this morning “Stalkwatch” is no more,deleted and forever removed from the Internet.
Its tough writing under your own name sometimes especially if you start your blogging career by putting out of joint the noses of some rather nasty and sanctimonious idiots who think that they both own the internet and that they get to set the rules of good online etiquette. You see when I naively made my first foray into the bloggosphere I did not know at all that some people so jealously guarded their true identities so that they could be uninhibited by the consequences of their bad behavior. I just thought that their anonymity was nothing of consequence. In the course of the last seven years I have discovered just how petty, nasty and venial some people can be when they have their masks dissolved and how they will stoop to any vilification to demonise the target of their bullying.
During the course of the last seven years I have had to learnt some handy self-defense skills, not in the martial arts sense mind you but in the sense of learning about precise way that the internet works and the way that we all leave electronic “paper trails” in our wake as we comment or publish our “words of wisdom”. Being ever on the lookout for the next underhanded attacker seeking to infiltrate my comment threads or to become my “friend” via email has made me rather too cynical about the new faces that turn up at my Sandpit and hopefully the demise of “Stalkwatch” will be a lesson to the rest of that deluded crew that neither Ray nor I are “easy marks” who will give in to bullying and piss-weak internet vigilantes who foolishly believe their own propaganda about their targets. Those who sought to punish Ray and I for some pretty venial sins have time and again made disproportionate responses because they were simply bullying boors who could not stand being out smarted or out lasted by an ordinary blokes from the back blocks of southern Queensland and eastern Victoria . They especially could not stand the fact that I have made a friendship and alliance with that fellow blogger from eastern Victoria. The reason was of course that the alliance between Ray and I has shown then that the whole is stronger than the sum of its parts. They have thrown everything at us and “Stalkwatch” was just part of the story most of which is probably best kept private, not because the scum-bags who ran it and populated its comment threads deserve any mercy (they don’t) but because Ray and I are both sick and tired of the entire thing. Ray has his business to run and I have my family to “do” for, projects to work on and well the bigger political picture is just so much more interesting than being obliged to do battle to defend our good names and reputations from the most vile smears and ongoing attempts at character assassination all made from behind the mask the easy anonymity of the internet .
So hopefully we can now move on and focus upon topics that will be far more interesting to the many casual readers of The Sandpit. Issues like the rise, fall and further fall of the Federal Labor Government. The most spectacular rise of the Newman administration up here comes to mind as well. The weird and wacky things that surface all the time and just beg for commentary. Heck I may even try to encourage Ray to increase the sporting and religious (AFL) content of the blog as well. The world is , as it ever was, a wild and volatile place which offers plenty of opportunities to share and debate our opinions. Old favorites like the loopy Greens and their religious faith in Climate change and their millenarian madness need much more attention and I for one am looking forward to giving these things and many more greater focus in the weeks months and yes, years ahead. I am very proud of the fact that here at The Sandpit we have a range of political views evident in the writing of its authors, it’s what sets us apart from other “group” blogs which can end up being too narrowly focused and too politically incestuous. Anyway on this beautiful day I’m lifting my coffee mug in salute to my friends and respected debating adversaries who make Blogging so rewarding and so much fun.