Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What I Know

In recent days, our community has been ablaze with charges of duplicity and betrayal. Speculation is rampant and facts are elusive. I’ve remained silent until now because I wanted to take the time to assemble a coherent response. The last thing I wish is to fan the flames.

And yet, speak I must. Several readers asked me to share my thoughts and provide some sort of clarity. “I don’t know” doesn’t seem like a proper answer.

I don’t possess all of the facts and I recognize this places me on dangerous ground. Consequently, I choose to examine what I do know.

I know that upon learning of these revelations, I was shocked. Later, I felt frustration, sadness, and disappointment. Slowly, though, as the hours and days passed, so have these emotions. I have now reconciled myself to the world as it is. I can live with this.

I know good people can, and sometimes do, make serious mistakes. Such mistakes can cause damage as surely as if it were intended. But in this instance, I am convinced that the resulting harm was not intentional. That observation provides little solace for the victims of miscalculation, but it may offer a path toward reconciliation.

I know the siren’s song of blogging popularity. One taste of this elixir, in the form of glowing comments and e-mails filled with praise, is all it takes to get hooked. I regularly toy with the idea of dropping MBS in favor of other worthy pursuits. But I keep coming back for one more post, one more answered e-mail, and one more comment. I love my readers and I don’t want to let them down. I understand how this relentless pull could cause someone to unwittingly slide down a slippery ethical slope.

I know that the truth matters. Bloggers, whether we accept it or not, are considered role models by hundreds or even thousands of unseen readers. This was perhaps the most surprising revelation of my blogging experience. I thought I was just sharing my thoughts and tales with like-minded folks out here on the internet. When I learned that others sought to emulate Randy and me, I was dumbfounded. We get along well and have a good time, but there’s really nothing extraordinary about us. It was then that I understood the responsibility that comes with being a blogger. People read our words and sometimes act upon them. As a result, I feel the need to provide accurate and unbiased information.

I know I want the hurting to stop. We can’t easily repair this situation. Nor can we ignore it or turn back the clock. Perhaps the storm will blow over in time. Perhaps the naked candor demonstrated of late will promote greater understanding within our community. Come what may, I desire to do what I can to rebuild trust.

I know that I don't wish to abandon my friends. Paul has always been very supportive of me and of this blog. His thoughtful comments were, and are, most appreciated. PK has been a fellow traveler. We’ve laughed, cried, celebrated, and mourned over life’s milestones both big and small.

I know that I cannot in good conscience endorse or condone these misrepresentations. But I also know that I can forgive.

30 comments :

Ronald10021 said...

I am so completely out of the loop that I have no clue what is going on, but feel bad that you've been hurt and wish you the best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Me neither!
Best of luck Bonnie, whatever the hell is going on.
Much love.

PK said...

Bonnie,
Thank you. As always you are a gracious lady and a calm voice of healing.

Hugs,
PK

mthc said...

That was a classy post. I hope everyone takes it to heart.

Tiggs said...

Very well stated, Bonnie. And I think your last paragraph sums it all up, though yes, I think the rest needed to be said and hopefully will be heard as well.

But this alone expresses it all nearly completely on its own:

"I know that I cannot in good conscience endorse or condone these misrepresentations. But I also know that I can forgive."

For me, it really is not an issue of forgiveness and never has been... it's the letting go of the way things were good or bad, right or wrong, and moving forward in my own way that's been far harder. But it is happening just the same.

Very good post, but I do indeed hope this is the last mention of it, too.

Thanks and hugs,
Tiggs

M:e said...

Thank you Bonnie. I'm sure you've written here what many of us have been feeling.

love and hugs xxx

john said...

There is a big difference between to forgive and to forget.
I think, life will never be the same for our "regular commenter".
No one will believe him anymore even if it's true.
Concerning PK, she admitted, she was wrong. I think, she is honest.
The behavior of this "Uncle" of so many ladies, towards friends makes me sick to the bone.
"Playing with an imaginary deceased wife in order to get sympathy from so many ladies, while being married and giving on line discipline to an other lady" is a bridge to far.
Decent men don't do this.
Some people still call him their friend.
I say: Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what happened, but I am relieved that you will keep blogging:) I love your blog! I am one of those that can say that my marriage is stronger than ever after finding your blog and talking to my husband openly about my desires of being spanked.

Whatever happened, I hope it blows over quickly.

Hermione said...

Bonnie,

Well said. None of us is perfect, and the blogging world is very seductive. You made a very good point about people trying to emulate what we write about.

We can hate the lies, but there is no need to hate the people who perpetrated them.

I'm with you. I'm ready to forgive and, more significantly, to forget.

Hugs,
Hermione

Anonymous said...

Thanks Bonnie! As usual, you are insightful.

I understand forgiveness and I encourage it. I do not, however, condone lying.

If someone thinks that they have only hurt one or two people with their lie....they are mistaken. Until the person can admit that more than a few were hurt by the lie, then it's not over.

If you went to the psychologist and the psychologist gave you advice, regardless of whether the advice worked or not, you would not be happy to find out the psychologist wasn't really a psychologist after all. Giving advice to people in the spanking community, without actually having the experience is much the same thing.

I am all for forgiveness. I'm just unsure how I feel about all the people sticking up for lying.

Maybe instead of sticking up for liars and defending the liars we should let them know how wrong they really were. I mean, if there is no punishment for the crime, how do they know it's wrong?

I'm not saying we should hate them, I'm not saying they are evil, but I find it funny that so many are willing to let them off the hook with no more than a slap on the wrist. Some even encouraging them to continue the lie. I, for one, will NOT be visiting Cassie on her site....LYING is NOT OK!

Forgiveness will happen, forgetting? Well, I'm not sure that will happen any time soon.

Of course, I will post this Anonymous for I don't want to be attacked for having an opinion. If you feel my opinion is to controversial PLEASE delete it.

Thanks for an honest and open blog where people can feel safe sharing something that cannot be shared so openly in real life!

Anonymous said...

I will never forget. Many people in this lifestyle are selfcentered but these two have gone way past that. Their "caring" has never been about anyone besides themselves. The one woman has already announced that she is bring her Cassie character back. Only a day or two after she claimed she felt so bad about having screwed with hundreds of people. That didn't take long. Her claim of remorse is a joke. It was just a way to bring her back after she was forced to shut her down because she was threatened with exposure. She "confessed" and claimed to be sorry about all the people she screwed over and as soon as a few friends told her they forgived her she says Cassie is coming back. What a f'n joke. I suppose if Paul's buddies forgive him he will be right back to manipulating vulnerable women as if nothing ever happened. Just a little sweet talk from them both and all is well. You are all a bunch of fools and suckers and that laughter you hear is the two of them laughing at you. I'm glad so many can just blow this off and say that they don't like what the people did but still like the people that did it. Ted Bundy was known as one of the nicest people going too you know. Sometimes you can't separate the sin and the sinner and these are perfect examples of that. Both of these people completely mislead and manipulated people for years and for their own sick pleasure. No other reason. They both make me sick!

Daisychain said...

I am just so sad that this has happened, and consider it was all unnecessary.
Of course, we have to change/omit certain details for anonymity's sake, but outright lies , why???
EVERYONE is welcomed to our community; gay, straight, all dynamics of spankers/spankees, wannabees, seasoned spankers, newbies, male, female, young,old, there is room for fictional or factual accounts, no-ones lifestyle is judged or refused or considered too boring.... so, be yourself!!! Give yourself a fake name, but, be you!!!!!
LIES always wound....ALWAYS.... sooner or later. Hugs, all xxx

Anonymous said...

Bonnie,

Thanks for yet another fabulous post. I have been following your blog for more than three years now and it was you and another blogging gal who gave me the courage to share my “dirty little secret” with my hubby. It saved our marriage. I hardly ever comment anywhere but have shared a lot privately with several of you wonderful bloggers and have made many friends, including a couple who are now dear, dear friends (as well as their great husbands).

I can’t speak much to what Paul did other than to say I think it is terrible, but I can say more about PK and her Cassie deception. I was a great fan of PK and her “twin” until I found out about all of this the other day. I have since learned that one of my dear friends has gone through a terrible ordeal because of PK and her alternate “personality.” She learned about Pk’s horrible lies a couple of months ago but never told me because she feels so foolish for having been deceived by this woman.

She has now shared her story with me and asked me not to tell anyone any details because, in her words, “I don’t want anyone to know what an idiot I am.” All I can say is that the damage PK did to my dear friend is immense. She thought she had found a true friend in Cassie only to find out it had all been a lie. She was so embarrassed about being made a fool of that she couldn’t tell anyone, even her husband. She felt horrible guilt about all the time she spent reading “Cassie’s” blog and writing to Cassie and worrying about her and “Tom” because it was all time she had taken from her husband and children. She felt humiliated.

Instead of sharing her story with her husband or friends, she withdrew. Instead of seeking her husband’s help and asking for some spankings, she told him she no longer wished to be spanked. He was dumbfounded and couldn’t believe it had nothing to do with him or her feelings toward him. He barely spoke to her through the holidays as she continued to refuse to open up to him. He began to believe she might have fallen for someone else.

To make a long story short, her doctor started her on antidepressants right after Christmas and she says that she finally feels like she is becoming “a human” again. She told me she finally realized that when her guilt over the Cassie situation turned to rage AT PK/Cassie over the past few days and her decision to finally ‘confess” to her husband the reason for all their recent troubles. She even told me she hopes he puts her over his knee!

I am sure he will have a lot of anger to work out, but I am not sure it will all be aimed at his wonderful wife. I, for one, hope it is aimed at the cause of their pain and I look forward to the day she finally shares it all with him.

Janeen said...

I have to agree that this was a classy post. I have been silent also, feel bad for those hurt. Felt like April of 06 all over again.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie, well said and classy, just as I knew your post on this subject would be.

I have been the victim of someone who completely invented an alternate personality in order to stalk me online, so I know the extent of damage these kinds of deceptions can do.

I was not personally affected by this latest set of events, but I am sorry for those who were. There is something very violating about finding out you were deceived. You feel stupid and vulnerable.

Forgiveness? Sure. People make mistakes, and have their reasons for doing what they do. I don't think PK or Paul meant any malice. However... now we'll all be just a tad more suspicious. Kind of sad, really, when we ought to be able to band together and trust one another. -- Erica

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Bonnie, for addressing this issue in such a classy way. I have admired how you have made so many different kinds of people have feel accepted here.
I count myself among those who see you as a role model. You have helped me learn much about myself, about desires I didn’t really understand. Through your blog, I have found others I hold in the same light (including one of the subjects of this post). You all have helped me realize that there are others out there like me, and that I don’t have to try to change myself to conform to some definition of normal.
When I think back to who I was before I discovered this community, I am surprised at how much I have changed. I have a quiet sense of belonging and a renewed faith that somewhere out there I can find someone who will love and accept me for who I am. Yes, there is a degree of anonymity here. And that anonymity makes it easy to deceive, if that is what one wishes. However, that is a risk I am willing to take.
I know I cannot trust everyone, but neither can we get by trusting no one. I wish to be cautious but optimistic, recognizing potential dangers but willing to take the chance in building trust. I believe that all people act from good intentions at some level, but that all people make mistakes. They hurt, but they make us human. Admitting to those mistakes opens the door for the forgiveness and change that is so central to many in this community.
~Kia

john said...

On the ASS blog I saw JDFlame's explanation about what Paul did to her.
If all of this is true, he is an unscrupulous person who isn't worth to be called a friend.

Dante d'Amore said...

John,

If you'd like to see the extent of Paul's elaborate web of lies here is a link to a very long and detailed story he wrote recently about “life” with his "late wife Mel." This links to part 1. At the bottom are links to continue the story. Or you can follow the tags to "Paul & Mel."

This is some incredible stuff. It boggles my mind that anyone could believe this is harmless.

http://www.zilledefeu.com/spank/a-summer-miracle/

Jflame said...

Bonnie I am truly sorry that you have been hurt by this and asked to try to explain this.
Like Dante said, you can go to ASS and read the 'not a fun post' or you can go to my blog and read a first hand account of what Paul did and did not do. John, whoever you are I encourage you to come on over especially.

Jflamesjourney.blogspot.com/

Hugs to you Bonnie, big ones.
Jay

Dante d'Amore said...

Something I just found. A lot of important stuff, but the section called "The Dominance-Submission Game" really leaps out. Especially the part that says "followers give adulation to the cyberpath - many of whom use pity as a way to get attention."


What Is A Cyberpath

http://enpsychopedia.org/index.php/Cyberpath

Colloquially, a cyberpath is defined as an individual with a pathological disorder who has access to the internet and uses the internet as a medium for acting out his or her pathology. Another definition is that a cyberpath has come to mean a psychopath who uses the internet to find, stalk, and exploit others either online or in real life.

The Internet - A Double Edged Sword

According to many researchers, finding victims to exploit, and even exploitation itself, has been greatly facilitated by the internet. The internet not only offers the possibility for contact between like-minded individuals separated by vast distances and even belonging to different cultures, it also provides the opportunities for individuals of a predatory nature to seek out prey for any number of nefarious reasons.

Researchers emphasize that a cyberpath is extremely difficult to recognize. Psychopaths, in general, are well known for hiding behind a "mask of sanity"; the internet provides an additional masking element, compounding the problem.

Many cyberpaths appear to be seeking only thrills and restrict their activity to the internet only ... Because psychological and emotional dominance are what they seek - and usually achieve - they leave a trail of psychological damage behind them. Other cyberpaths utilize the internet to find victims that they then proceed to exploit directly.

The Dominance-Submission Game

For the "strict" cyberpaths, (those that never seek face to face contact), accumulating followers that accept their dominance are very important. The followers give adulation to the cyberpath - many of whom use pity as a way to get attention - and this seems to feed what appears to be a sort of virtual narcissism.

Cybersex and Emotional Rape

One variety of cyberpath concentrates on "web sex", seducing their victims with words, engaging in "cyber sex" which may go so far as to involve using webcameras, webphones, or may be simply restricted to written communication. They may then utilize these interactions to shame and harass the victim. Quite often, these seductions include promises of love and eventual face to face meetings which never transpire. If they do actually meet their victims, and exploit them, it passes into a different category of activity.

The cyberpath who concentrates on "romancing" and "seducing" their victims have been known to inspire almost fanatical love and devotion in a whole series of individuals they never actually meet.

Many victims of cyberpaths may end up entering therapy as a result of their interactions which are often emotionally deep and psychologically profound. Many victims believe themselves to be flawed after an experience with a cyberpath. PTSD which may last for months or years, is the most common problem victims are left with. ... cyberpaths can do extreme psychological damage to those individuals they target. See: Emotional Rape.

Gordon Bank's work, "Don Juan as Psychopath," [1] suggests that the cyberpath is mostly interested in playing tricks with his prey, almost in a playful way. The relationship, the cybersex, the chat, the openness, the fraud, the mind-games: are all a game to the Cyberpath.

Cyberpaths are predominantly male but can be female.

Cyberpath is the term used for predators looking for victims over the internet. It is true that we do not know who we are talking to on the other end of the computer and since the internet has become one of our most valuable communication tools the percentage of crime has increased by far. Do not trust profiles and do not trust what people "tell" you about themselves. Just as they will never know who you truly are you will really never know who they really are either.

There are no exceptions to becoming a victim of crime no matter how 'smart' or educated you are.

Bonnie said...

Everyone - I have no desire to tell anyone what they should think about this mess. We must each make up our own mind and, hopefully, find our own resolution.

Neither do I wish to judge anyone. If you choose to do so, that is certainly your right. I talked primarily about myself and my feelings because those are topics I'm sure I understand.

Ron and Anon #1 - Thank you. I didn't mean to be cryptic. I was trying to avoid dragging readers through the whole unpleasant episode again. In a nutshell, two well known members of our community were revealed to have misrepresented themselves. There's a lot more to the stories, and probably more than I know, but that's the gist of it.

PK - Thank you for joining the discussion. If we are going to talk about it (and it sure does appear that we're going to talk about this!), then I believe it should be a constructive dialog.

MTHC - Thank you! i appreciate your support.

Tiggs - Thanks. As much as we would love to declare this topic finished, these comments suggest to me that there are still some issues that have yet to be fully resolved. I hope that if we talk through these remaining questions as rational adults, we can reach a stage where it doesn't have to come up again.

M:e - Thank you!

John - I respect your opinion and I believe that you have grounds to feel as you do. I choose not to judge Paul because I do not possess all of the facts. But others can, and undoubtedly do, feel differently.

Anon #2 - That's great to hear. Thank you!

Hermione - These events, for good or for ill, will not be soon forgotten. Perhaps these stories can serve as cautionary tales for others. My objective in writing this post was not to bury this unfortunate affair so much as to begin to move beyond it. Trust has been eroded and I believe we must start building it anew.

Anon #3 - Your points are valid and I cannot tell you that you are wrong to feel as you do.

I have no intention of attacking you, and as you see, I didn't delete your comment. This blog is a place where any civil opinion is respected. I don't anticipate that everyone will agree with me. In fact, in more pleasant times, it's a lot of fun to collect and compare diverse perspectives.

Thanks for your support.

Anon #4 - I accept your opinion, although I interpret these facts somewhat differently. I think the Ted Bundy analogy is way over the top, but I understand the point you're making. Perhaps time will tell.

Daisy - I think "sad" is just the right word, at least for me. I so wish we could be talking about spankings.

Anon #5 - Wow. That story really brings the issue home. My heart goes out to your friend, and about anyone who feels they have been victimized.

Janeen - I have thought that many times in recent days.

Erica - Yes, that's very true. Well said.

Kia - That's a great perspective. Thank you for sharing it.

John - I did read that comment. But as I said, I'm still not convinced that I know the entire story. Until I do, I choose to hold my tongue. I'm neither assigning blame nor letting anyone off of the hook.

Dante - Thank you.

Jflame - I don't believe you owe me an apology. I was not hurt so much as momentarily bewildered. Now it just makes me feel sad for everyone touched by this affair.

I did read your account. I hardly know what to say. If I can provide any aid, you know where to find me.

Red said...

I have no idea what this is about, as I am new here.

That said, there are so few of us that I feel it a real shame that anything like this is going on.

Maybe we could just receive/give what we are looking for and to be grateful for a place to share our thoughts, desires, experiences.

Bonnie, please keep up your wonderful work.

Indy said...

Bonnie, thanks for your carefully considered and compassionate post and especially for running the kind of blog in which people can express strong opinions on both sides of the issue with reasonable civility. I hope we as a community learn from these unfortunate episodes.

Anonymous said...

Dear Bonnie,

I just wanted to say: You truelly have been a role model for me! I may be living a very different kind of kink - role model hasn´t to do with copying, anyhow. But your encouragement has been enormous.

And - I think - to most people (at least to me) the made up characters have not been like role models, rather, maybe, like erotic fairy tale heroes? It´s sometimes turning on to read their stories, but there isn't room for any identification, is there?

Thanks, once more,

Tina

M:e said...

I have been grateful to see this posting.

There have been postings and comments on many sites. Everyone will have made up their minds, and will have an opinion, voiced or unvoiced, about what happened....based on what has been put before them....which everyone concerned has stressed isn't everything.

I think my biggest concern about these past few days is that there have been very few sites where yes, all views have been allowed, but where those views are expected to be expressed civilly. Much of what's been written and commented upon in other places has been so emotionally charged and inflammatory that I believe it gives those who are actually at the centre of this little chance to move past what's happened.

Again, for the avoidance of doubt, I am not urging that the lessons coming out of this are forgotten....simply that many of us would have preferred to hear those views expressed a little more calmly and rationally.

Thank you Bonnie for creating space where this has been possible.

love and hugs xxx

ronnie said...

I think everything has been said. I am glad you posted this Bonnie. Thanks.
A lot of people have been upset and awful comments flying about, which to be honest these comments surprised me.
Can we move on now?
Ronnie
xx

Anonymous said...

Personally, I always thought there was something a bit too over-the-top about Paul's posts. I didn't necessarily think he had made Mel up, but I did think he was (at the very least) attention whoring.

Now, pardon my ignorance, but what about these two is so traumatic? I mean, the internet is full of trolls. Tubes and tubes of trolls. Trolls trolling trolls trolling trolls trolling trolls. Did either of these guys do anything that went above and beyond this level? If not, I really don't see why they merit an article.

Anonymous said...

We don't know what this is about, but whatever, please don't let this destroy what is without a doubt the best spanking blog in the world.

Mr.C. said...

This would appear to be the calmest venue to leave my comment on this subject.

Personally I do object to Ted Bundy being used as an analogy in a case like this. Doing so denigrates the terrorisation, torture and subsequent murder of a large number of women. I find that distasteful to say the least. But perhaps that's just me.

Many people writing and commenting on blogs take steps to mask their identity. They probably won't use their real name, they may well hide their general geographical location and possibly their occupation. They may well either not mention family at all, or take certain steps to misrepresent that to a point.

In other words they tell lies.

Is that acceptable or not? I think it is and so I have already accepted that some lies are alright, that there is in fact a gradiation of lieing.

What I will say is that in my opinion, to have or make any depth of contact or relationship with another person, one needs to know what is and is not true. I think there is a great deal of difference between telling lies to protect ones identity and telling lies that then go on to define and form that relationship. If you lie for long enough or often enough you actually cease to have a relationship at all, you just have one person manipulating another. I suppose that is a form of relationship, but I doubt it is one that many people would choose.

But of course because they don't know the truth they can't make that choice.

I am not actually going to comment on the individual cases which are causing mayhem at the moment. I don't have enough first hand knowledge to do so with any sense of accuracy.

It is a generalisation, and only my opinion, but there is more than enough risk for girls seeking contact on the internet or in face to face meetings. The world can be a dangerous place and anything that makes it more difficult or dangerous is to be much regretted.

In my opinion telling lies does that.

Bonnie said...

Dante - Thanks for enlightening us about this danger.

Red - You picked an interesting time to drop by. But you are very welcome here regardless. I'm sorry this had to be your introduction, but I invite you to stick around. The fun aspects will return soon. I promise!

Indy - I hope so too. Thank you for your support.

Tina - Thank you for your kind words.

M:e - I completely agree. We cannot settle anything by shouting at each other.

Ronnie - Yes, I believe we can.

Anon #6 - I define a troll as someone who drops anonymous flaming comments in a hit-and-run fashion. I wouldn't apply that term here.

As for why some people are upset, I think their grievances are well documented both here and elsewhere.

Anon #7 - If you're talking about MBS, then thank you, and you have nothing to fear. We're not destroyed or anything close to it.

Mr. C - I agree. Well said.

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