First off, in the interest of full disclosure (and for Ted’s sake), I did bring up the topic of Steve and Al at the Lone Star that weekend that several bloggers, including Homer, Moby and BrettCajun. Homer remembers me saying something to the effect of â€œJust a warning, what do you really know about Steve and Al? They seem to have the same writing styleâ€. I don’t remember issuing a warning, but the general gist is there. Certain flags have gone up for me over time, and I wondered if I were the only one who noticed. I do, though, remember following it with â€œbut I hope I’m wrong. It’d be better if the world had that kind of person in it.â€
That’s all, folks. That’s the cruel and hurtful, hateful bile that I’ve been spewing.
I will also admit to having gone to check on Steve’s claim that his dad had certain, uhhh, successes in the Summer Olympics of 1968 and 1972. I came up empty-handed, but I dismissed that as either shoddy research effort on my part, or I let it slide as a little white lie/brag, or I just wanted to believe in Steve.
So let’s recap this whole sad, sordid, histrionic tale:
- I was genuinely happy to have â€œmetâ€ Steve online
- We had what I thought were very rich and deep discussions about topics that most people don’t even consider, like having had partners die, about the need for raw, absolute language about medical facts, about how lonely it must be sometimes to have such a rare genetic deletion, even if it appears to be a huge win, etc.
- Along the way, Steve’s life appears to be more and more star-crosssed, more and more fabulous, more and more incredible.
- And then more and more in credible. If you know what I mean.
- Still, I said nothing to anyone about it, other than the cock of my head to a few people whom I trust, for whatever reasons I trust them.
- I read Bent Collective less and less over time, that regardless of adding authors Al and Karen, all the writing appeared to be from the same person.
- Then Steve, whose primary hallmark is a no-nonsense, call-‘em-on-it, link-to-it kind of aggressive argumentativeness suddenly becomes coy about some â€œSF blogger he thought was a friendâ€ saying hateful bilious things about him.
- This does surprise me when I read it, so I ask about it and tell him he should go after this guy.
- Karen decides to post that, in fact, this guy is me!
- So I’m dumbfounded, GoB-smacked, if you will.
- Then I realize: hey, this guy who is likely a fake, likely writing using three different personae, is now saying false things about your favorite god of the biscuits.
- It was like there were so many things wrong with it that I didn’t know where to start.
- So I started posting comments on their blog, only to be met with â€œwe said we’re done talking about it!â€
- Queer stuff, from queer stuff.
- Truth Will Out, I always say (and did say!)
- But then Al has to have his say, and does. He doesn’t like the fact that he’s being put upon to produce evidence of what I said. Certainly it was never in the cards to produce evidence to Who They Are.
- Garbage In, Garbage Out, I say.
Which brings us to Now. Right here. Whew!
Now, I have this thing about personal integrity and presenting what I think is an accurate (if incomplete) picture of myself on here, in email and in life. So what to do about someone whose identity is in question anyway, who then turns around and makes shit up about you? Who lives with libel, even from the crazies? I mean, disagree with me all you want, but if you’re going to argue something that is not a matter of opinion, you better goddamned well have the references to back up what you say.
What to do? Well, you go internet spelunking. You google. And it turns out, it takes very little time to uncover lies. And then when other people email you saying they share your suspicions and offer their own research, what to do?
Why, you make a list of falsehoods:
- Stanford doesn’t offer an MPH. Like, at all.
- there is no military hospital in Maui
- Steve never appeared in the doco or book, â€œI Missed Flight 93â€, a work which was painstakingly researched
- it appears there was never a news story about the accident involving the death of â€œSeraâ€ and her son
- there was never an O’Brien in the 68 or 72 summer Olympics, nor did any male win back to back gold medals for those years, much less set an Olympics record while doing so
- it strikes me that the whole â€œsecure medical feedâ€ is overkill, since SSL works for most corporations and most government agencies. Why is a mission of mercy so much more in need of security?
- both steve and al have commented multiple times on my blog from the same IP address
- many large canadian cities have their own police, but there is no national police force for canada save the Royal Mounties
- Karen uses American spellings, not UK/Canadian spellings, and all three seem to make the same typos.
- medical professionals never misspell medical terminology.
- Al lists ‘twink bars’ as a dislike of his and when Karen wrote about drug use, she referred to general big gay danceclubs as â€œtwink barsâ€, a potshot of a put-down
And, the coup de grÃ¢ce:
- the man who discovered the genetic deletion that Steve possessesâ€”and Al, too! OMG!â€”is called Dr. Steve O’Brien.
Does all this add up unequivocally to Steve, Al and Karen being fakey-fakes? No, of course not. Does it convince me that they’re fake? Sure does.
Is this malice? No. It’s an answer to their libel. Are they dangerous? I don’t know, you tell me. Go read ‘em and see. They dispense medical advice and flatly state they are qualified and credentialed to do so. And in my own opinion, that’s dangerous.
Your mileage (or kilometerage) may vary.