Saturday, April 24, 2010

the lies are exposed

Many of you are also followers of another blog that kind of went up in flames today. I have a hard time even saying the name of the person who claimed to be a 17 year old high school hockey player, but in reality was a 40 something guy. I trusted that guy. In fact, reading his blog was how I got started exploring the world of blogs and started my own. It was so upsetting to find that the whole blog was lies.

This is where I have to say that I know more of the story than most others do. I started emailing Jimmy, who is the main victim in this deception, soon after I got started blogging. He had posted comments on two blogs that I follow, and I sent him an email. From there we started a friendship. As Jimmy said today, he and "that guy" started an online relationship. I knew about it, and at one point Jimmy asked me if he was crazy to consider a relationship with someone that he never met, who was 17 and then 18, who lived 1000 miles away. Being the romantic fool that I am, I said no, and at one point said something about the two of them being "cute." I am so angry for steering my friend into something that hurt him so badly. I hope that Jimmy can find a way to forgive me.

I am also embarrassed to say that I was able to figure out who "that guy" was pretending to be. He sent Jimmy photos of the real high school hockey player that he was pretending to be, and Jimmy sent one to me. I was able to see the team name and jersey number, and although part of me said not to do this, I did an google search and found out the hockey player's name. I didn't share it with anyone, but I'm ashamed to admit that I felt special that I knew who the mystery guy was.

Then earlier this week I got an email from Jimmy that he realized that "that guy" was a fake. I was shocked. I'm gonna admit something else that I'm embarrassed about. My first thought was "Are Jimmy and "that guy" faking being fake as a way to end the blog and not risk being found out?" What a totally shitty thing to think. My friend had his life turned upside down, his heart ripped out, and I was thinking that he was lying to me. In retrospect, my thoughts may have been a defense mechanism. I just didn't want to accept that "that guy" could be fake. I am really, really sorry that I doubted you, Jimmy.

Now my trusting nature has gotten me burned, and I'm suspicious of everyone. I wonder "Is anyone out there real? Maybe every blog I follow and everyone who reads my blog are fake too."

And I worry about the young gay athletes. One guy decided to come out to his conservative family and his football team because of this guy. Now he and his mother have a strained relationship. He called that guy his hero. How does he feel now? Can he trust people, especially older gay men. Great. Now young gay men think of older guys as liars. That's just what our community needs.

I hope that people do realize that despite the lies, there is a community that has started here. We can support each other through this. I'm here if anyone wants to email me directly, or you can post here.


  1. Don't feel bad for Googling.

    I've done it to confirm that people are who they say they are and also to see if kids are revealing too much. I've e-mailed a few to tell them I was able to quickly determine where they live. I was even able to find the street address of one boy from just two almost inconsequential things he'd written put together with his listed e-mail address; that was frightening. I've done this not to stalk kids, but so I can tell them what they need to change on or remove from their blogs. I know I'm not out to hurt them, but that doesn't mean others won't be.

    Have you thought about sending the kid a note via his school that someone is sending out pics, claiming to be him? After all, it is a form of identity theft.

  2. Sad. I hope the community will come out of this stronger.

    I don't know what this mans motivations were for doing this - but i hope it was innocent.

    None of us truly knows who we're talking to. But a big part of blogging is the therapeutic aspect of just writing down your thoughts - and that can't be taken away by this scandal.


  3. Hey Nonsense Doctor! Are u gonna actually sit there in your granola-covered, hemp-made cotton slacks and take responsibility for this sham-bles?

    Um, thanks but stop it right now!

    You didn't help me get sucked into that vortex dude. I did it on my own. I'm sorry for draggin YOU thru the mud with me. That's what really has me angry ya know. I mean I specifically asked "whatshisname" if I could send u a pic. He never hesitated. Just like who else should we tell that we're in love, blah, blah, blah...what a dick.

    Whatever. All I know is thru it all, I met many great people and I bet 99.9% of the one's I'm thinkin about are real. Real people with real lives. Lives they've let me into - and also share mine...You were there for me at the beginning dude and here we are at the end. This to me makes us friends for life. I think that's a Canadium rule but can be enforced in Cali when called upon.

    Peace doc n thanks for everything you've done FOR me - cause you haven't done anything to me. That was somebody else.

  4. @Jimmy - now I'm the one writing through tears. I am grateful that despite all that's happened you can still be the great friend that you are. My emotions and thoughts are jumbled now and I can't get them into words, but thank you.

    My pants are cotton, no hemp involved. I ate the granola for breakfast, so it's only covering my pants if I spilled and didn't clean up. Seeing your sense of humor again is the best thing that I've seen all day. :-)

  5. now both of you are making me cry...
    i really dont know who i can trust anymore... but i hope you are really who you say you are.. i want to believe that...

    - cheers.... david

  6. Hey cheif,
    I've seen you posting on that site a few times and am now kinda scrambling around other blogs, figuring out whats going on i guess i'm kinda just feeling lost or confused or something. I never really commented on 'that blog' but it was good to know it was there, and even pointed people to it as a resource, you know?
    I'm 29 and out, so shouldn't really be that affected by all this, but it kinda kills eh?
    anyway, you've got another follower - this community needs to grow and stick together and prove it *can* be positive...
    take it easy bud

  7. Hey doc and Jimmy, you are both amazing people. Now I know why one is in the states and the other in Canada. Not enough room in any one given country to contain the awesomeness. :)

  8. Do not blame yourself, because as Jimmy says, it is not your fault. Anf Jimmy, it's not your fault either.

    I'm here for you too if you need me.

  9. Wow,what a mess. By reading what Jimmy, Madeleine, and now,what you have written, I have a pretty good idea of how this all came tumbling down. You couldn't write a more complex drama. It's been said the truth is stranger than fiction. What this guys motives were,we may never know. For someone who was claiming to help people, he has really badly hurt many. I was a fairly regular commenter who shared some very personal thoughts, I feel violated, but by no means any where to the extent you all have, perhaps Jimmy the most. It was only a matter of time till this complex house of cards came crashing down. My hope is that every one will be able to put this all behind them and get on with their lives. It will be a rough road for Jimmy, he is young and will be ok. Madeleine is a strong person and will get on with her life. Green Ectomorph- do not blame yourself. He had all of us under his spell. We try to look for the good in people, but this time it burnt us all. I hope we don't all become jaded by this and still search out for the good and strive to help each other. Good luck and I hope everyone can put this behind them and get on with their lives.

  10. Thank you everyone for your support.

    @nobody - I still feel that I shouldn't have found out who Mikey was pretending to be. But he only gave that name to two people, and the name hasn't gotten out. So I don't think that the real person has been harmed.

    @NewLeaf - a few people have deleted their blogs due to this, and several have lost confidence in people here.

    @David, yeah, I'm real, but I understand how everyone is skeptical now.

    @Staggie - thanks. It is a mess. I have started mentioning any new followers and asking if their want to introduce themselves. Do you want to tell us anything about you? Where is Ross County from your avatar?

    @GayEMTNJ - thanks for your support. I don't feel so awesome now though.

    @Madeleine - you've been a big help with this. I'm really sorry that you've been dragged into this mess. You've done nothing wrong but some comments others have made get me very upset.

    @djohnson - yes, it is a mess. I wish that I had your confidence that people will move on. I am most worried about Jimmy, and I haven't heard from him in about 24 hours, which has me concerned.

    I also have another new follower, davebhf. Welcome. Do you want to share a little (or a lot) about yourself?

  11. djohnson and davedhf are the same person, sorry, I somehow fowled things up when adding as a follower. I use davebhf to comment. I will post more later as I am of to a meeting now. Jimmy has posted twice this afternoom on outsports comments in regards to the mikey hoax.He also answered a couple of questions on hios formspring account.

  12. Wow, what a shitty situation for everyone. I feel terrible for Jimmy, even though I've never talked to the kid. It was such an elaborate lie that it seems almost incredible to me.

    Whatever you do, don't blame yourself for believing the guy was legit because everyone did. It is human nature to give someone the benefit of the doubt, particularly when the identity was so well crafted.

    Keep your chin up and keep being a good friend to Jimmy. I'm sure the kid needs it.

  13. Well, now you have me as a follower as well. ;-) You can't take any blame for what happened. Jimmy can't, Madeline can't, etc. Only one person is to blame here. And after reading this post I actually have another thought, but I'm reluctant to post it because I don't want to contribute to the hysteria.

  14. I'm happy to say I've caught up on your blog and I continue to be impressed by every single one of your posts. You acted on your instincts and saved people from deceit.

  15. davebhf- -a little about myself-bhf-stands for blackhawk fan. That's how I commented on the "other blog" Closeted gay, for the most part happy with my life. Consider myself masculine-except probably for the "neat freak" aspect of myself-(typical stereotype gay)Love the blackhawks-that's how I got involved with everyone here. Love to travel-been to Hawaii more times than I have toes and fingers to count. Also have 4 cats,I guess that spretty gay also. Work in sports and recreation fields.hence still not out, maybe some day I will take the step. That's me in a nutshell.

  16. I know you're not feeling all that awesome. To be quite honest, I haven't been feeling all that awesome myself since Friday. I never like change in general and I don't like when people disappear from my life even when they are just internet friends and that's what happened here. Even if I didn't know them personally, I got used to their style and personality of their posts and looked forward to them -- like Rich with his greeting of "huggy bear." A lot of people that I enjoyed seeing just notes from are gone, driven away by fear, mistrust or just lost in the ether. In a weird way that's harder because it brings back those long ago nights where this happened to me and I hoped for an email that didn't come. It always stirs up a dark pool that I don't like.

    I didn't write to post about any of that. You shouldn't feel bad about not figuring out Mikey. Neither should Maddy or Jimmy. Everyone was fooled. Yes, there are some naysayers that claim they never believed it. But those are also people that don't believe its morning even if you take them outside and show them the sunrise. Their being right here truly falls into the category of "even a broken clock is right twice a day." This guy was very good at his manipulations and was very clever. No one should be ashamed at believing him.

    I know because of Jimmy's question about asking you if he was crazy to fall for this guy, this cuts deeper. I know it is frustrating to not have seen this coming and been able to warn Jimmy off. But I too, am a romantic fool, and even despite my own personal history, I would have said the same thing as you. Love is difficult to come by in life, and the small size of our community can make it more difficult to find, so taking the opportunity when you find it is important. We both know that if you had any inkling of suspicion you would have done anything you could to prevent this. We both would have.

    You may have seen a post on the forum about a first crush where I shared my story of losing my first opportunity for dating for being too afraid to try. I have always regretted that and few days go by without me wondering "what could have been." Now that boy that I lost may have been crazy or heartless but I would gladly trade dealing with that pain over the years of wondering what could have been.

    I may be the bigger fool because given the same circumstances again today, I'm not sure that I would say no. The truth is that people do meet online and then in real life and are happy. There is an equal chance that this could have worked. Look at all the real people (since confirmed as such through a lot of different ways including live video) over at Maddy's blog. Everyone in that group is real. So the odds of real over fake are pretty good. Sadly, the one fake one in the whole group there managed to do a lot of hurt and hurt someone we all deeply care about.

    But as Teddy R would say: "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."

    Nonetheless, I know how much it hurts. Jimmy is a very special young man and he doesn't deserve any of this nor any of the abuse he is getting by the ignorant hoi polloi. He deserves a wonderful young man that has every bit as big a heart and sense of humor as he has. I know that young man is out there for him and I hope and pray that he shows up in his life soon.