I'm sorry to hear you've experienced the nasty side of the net. There are
kooks and perps and just plain horrid people out there...as there are
About two years ago I had the joy of an attack on me and my list. At the
time, my list was controlled manually and I had no way to block out posts
(now I have subscription software and I have it set so only subscribers can
post but I have no way to block anyone from subscribing...I can only try to
unsub them when I get the notification).
I moved cross-country and ended up being homeless for a while and under
tons of stress from that and other sources. I fell behind in maintaining
the list which pissed lots of people off. Some took to badmouthing me on
the list itself. A group of 3 people fuelled this way beyond the expected
venting. Topics such as "Immune...the list from hell" were common.
These 3 took to attacking me and my subscribers. They posted about me to
USENET groups. One of them posted to the list how he didn't care if I was
sleeping under a bridge, I needed to "do [my] job." This went on for
months...long after I unsubscribed them all and caught up on list admin.
The last straw was that same one who posted that I was going to hell for
being a lesbian (my girlfriend had posted in my defence earlier...his
response was to call her a witch and a few other things). I don't remember
everything he said but it was a long post on the same key.
Some people have the hobby of disrupting lists; there's even a USENET group
for this. In some cases, the disrupters are responding to the content (my
list, for example, discusses lawsuits against large corporations and
government coverups of chemical use). In other cases, they just do this
for kicks. And sometimes the disruptor is just an indivudual with a
distorted sense of things.
The good news in my case was that all these people were on AOL. I
forwarded select messages to AOL and got their accounts yanked. That's the
last I heard from any of them. For those of you who have seen an old post
of mine about some of my subscribers who sent private mail to another
subscriber to the point of making her suicidal and sending her to a mental
hosptial...these are the same people and this is part of the reason I
didn't mess around with "tolerating" them.
I would save all this creeps personal letters to you as well as any posts
that you consider inappropriate. Also save any letters you send to him.
If you feel he has crossed the line, send them along to his postmaster,
with a note of explaination. Some ISP's respond promptly and take matters
like these seriously. Others will ignore you. Most are somewhere
I would make one reply to him; tell him to stop writing you. State it
clearly, politely, and with no emotion. Add that if he continues to write
you you will send the letters to his postmaster.
If you have no luck with the postmaster at his ISP, do a traceroute on his
address and send your letters to the ISP's upstream. You can also enlist
the help of your sysops if needed. But save this for serious continuous
personal threats or direct action he takes to disrupt your list.
Good luck. I know it's awful to get mail like this, and, no, you dont get
used to it. But most kooks like this one are mostly air and no substance.
"There's nothing wrong with me. Maybe there's Cyndi Norman
something wrong with the universe." (ST:TNG) cnorman @