PDA Spam Attack on Shrink4Men Hints at Cyberwarfare Style Distortion CampaignsWritten by: Rob Print This Article
Use of Our Content (Reposting and Quoting)
Dr. Tara Palmatier’s Shrink4Men website has recently been bombarded with abusive comments from somebody who sounds like she has BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) with malicious acting out behaviors, or as I’d call her, a personality disordered abuser (PDA). The good psychologist is hoping to help identify the attacker and perhaps help her victimized ex in the process.
Perhaps this is not the best way to go about doing this, but I’m a big believer in implementing consequences for crazy and malicious BPD behavior, so here we are. Beginning late last week, a woman, whom I assume is the former spouse or girlfriend of a man who frequents this site, began spamming my site with puerile comments in which she engages in name calling and other typical BPD verbal attacks against Shrink4Men readers/commenters and me.
None of these comments have been approved nor will they be approved because they’re nothing more than lame attempts to hurt my readers feelings and my feelings and they would only distract from the meaningful dialogue, sharing and support that takes place here. The irony is that her attacks don’t hurt my feelings. In fact, my thoughts are, “Gee, I can see why her ex broke up with her” and “I wonder how many texts and voicemails the poor bastard who was dating/married to her is getting everyday?” If anything, her spams only reinforce my beliefs about BPD and the information presented on this site.
Now, the reason I am posting this rather than something more productive: Gentlemen, if you believe this is your ex/gf/wife, please contact me and I will send you all of her spam comments with the date, time stamp and multiple IP addresses, so that you can include them as evidence of her unstable/stalker/harassment behavior in any pending divorce/restraining order cases. If need be, I have access to an Internet security expert who can trace pretty much anything directly to the source.
Information warfare by a nasty PDA, often one who suffers BPD or NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder), is a frequent feature of the ending of a relationship involving such a person. But the comment spamming mentioned above is really among the less serious of attacks.
Distortion campaigns can become ruinous and virtually unfixable, especially if there are children involved. Some might call it a catch-22 situation in which anything you do to try to fix the disaster only makes it worse. When the Internet becomes involved, the risks of this may be even higher as I’ll discuss below.
Cyberwarfare Tactics in Emotionally Abusive Relationships
The cyberwarfare tactics employed by the emotionally abusive have a very wide range. What unifies them is the theme of taking the emotional abuse into the electronic realm so it can continue even when there is no longer any physical contact.
There are many cases involving PDAs engaging in email hacking (including blocking access to accounts, spying, harvesting email addresses for illicit uses, and deleting communications they want to hide) and extensive online defamation involving false allegations of serious crimes, especially those people tend to regard as especially distasteful like child molestation. If and when discovered, these PDAs may even attempt to spin the defamation as having been posted by the person being attacked and claim they are the ones with BPD or NPD.
It’s potentially ruinous to a person’s life to find their name being associated with being a child abuser, sex offender, spousal beater, thief, drug abuser, or other offense which they have never committed.
There are also cases of a PDA engaging in impersonation of targets or others via hacked email, Facebook, or other social networking accounts. Sometimes the goal is to spread more defamation. Other times it is to interfere with relationships, business, or anything else that may be conducted via electronic communications.
Target Often Unaware of Full Scope of Attack
Often the PDA isn’t acting alone. A PDA leaving one relationship may enter a new relationship with another PDA. Therapist Beverly Engel discusses in particular that it is common for a Borderline to hook up with a Narcissist.
(from The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing, Chapter 8 “When Your Partner Has Personality Disorder”)
Still another reason for the focus on BPD and NPD is the fact that those with BPD tend to become attracted to those with NPD and vice versa. This frequent coupling creates one of the most common types of emotionally abusive relationships.
So you can end up with two PDAs going after you at once. These people also often have the uncanny ability to motivate other people to align with them, so you may find not just those two PDAs are attacking you but also many of their friends and family join in, too.
Sometime these attacks can be visible online for a long time without the target knowing about them in their entirety or even at all. Yet they can be having severe effects even if the target doesn’t know it. Employers who see “Joe is a child molester” or “Jane is a drug abuser” when searching for information on a potential employee may simply decide to not hire the person, suspecting the “where there is smoke there is fire” adage may be true. Employers will likely not tell such a potential employee about what they found.
It’s yet another way to slime a person to make them unemployable, just like false police and CPS reports can destroy a person’s career most especially for those with jobs involving children, the elderly, healthcare, and law enforcement. But these cyberattacks can affect anybody in any field of work.
Sometimes they can be very difficult for the uniformed to distinguish from legitimate complaints about a person. If you’re an employer, do you really want to risk hiring a person who is being attacked as some sort of nutcase or pervert when your customers may learn about it, even if you think it is not true?
Fighting Defamation and Misinformation
Some people recommend regularly searching for information about yourself to detect defamatory attacks on your reputation. But even if you take such steps, there is no guarantee it is going to help much.
For one, proving who has attacked you can be very difficult. In the case of the PDA spamming Shrink4Men, it’s possible the IP addresses and other information collected by the web server may be useful in identifying the culprit or culprits. But there is no guarantee of that. It could be they point back to a library or public access computer used by thousands of people.
In an age of American government tyranny, there are a plenty tools that help people share information and use the Internet while protecting their identities. Some of our website users are using these tools. We completely understand why, they want to be able to read and/or comment without being tracked and surveilled by the government, a government that can throw you on to TSA watchlists so you are treated like a criminal every time you travel simply because you criticized a US government leader. Yet these same tools used by citizens fed up with abusive government who want to avoid being persecuted for their views can also be abused by PDAs and criminals to cause a lot of mischief and damage.
Secondly, if you try to get misinformation removed, the website operator may instead post your request to remove the misinformation for everybody to see. A PDA can even find ways to spin that against you, perhaps claiming that you violated an agreement to not discuss the outcome of a case.
Trying to get a court order to remove defamatory material isn’t going to be of much help in some cases, either. US court orders are meaningless in most other countries. A truly intent PDA can simply attack you on websites all over the world. Global information warfare isn’t just about governments and large corporations, it is about individuals and small businesses, too.
Say you own a bakery. Think about how a reader of a “review” that your business baked a mouse into a loaf of bread isn’t going to know that it is defamation coming from a psychopath. Such defamation might cost you many customers even though it is not true.
Cyberattacks May Come Late in a Distortion Campaign
The information warfare part of a distortion campaign may start long after the PDA has been attacking behind the target’s back using conversations and other semi-private or private means of which the target is entirely unaware. Yet proving this is usually very difficult to do. The PDA is often successful at getting friends and relatives to lie about what has happened. The target can rightly call out the liars only to be labelled a liar himself or herself because of a perception of “majority rules” that result in several liars being perceived as credible simply by sheer numbers.
Sometimes it goes so far as even one’s own friends and family have been hearing the attacks for years and they actually started to believe it, even though they have no personal experiences to corroborate the distortion campaign. PDAs can be highly persistent at attacking and tend to whittle away at people’s doubts of what they are claiming over many years, even decades, before the target becomes aware of what the PDA is doing. By that time, it may be too late. Your family may think you visit prostitutes, abuse drugs, and beat your wife regularly and will take her side even though she is actually the abuser.
Self-Defense Can Be Dangerous
It’s natural for the target of these attacks to want to respond to defend their reputations. Yet doing so is extremely risky, largely because many of these cases occur during divorces and child custody battles.
Family law judges are notorious for disliking the US Constitution’s First Amendment that is supposed to guarantee free speech rights. For instance, you find out you have been trashed throughout your community and you decide to respond to it by exercising your free speech rights to post to the web information that exposes the attacker and the misinformation for what it is. You may hope that if somebody hears something defamatory about you, they will try to search out more information and discover that you are being defamed by a vicious abusive ex. Yet a typical abusive judge will look at this and side with the abuser against you for having done it, claiming it is somehow against your children’s “best interests” for having done so.
But how was it in your children’s best interests that many or even most of their friends’ parents, neighbors, teachers, doctors, dentists, pastors, and extended family members have been fed years of misinformation about you and talk about you around your children as a criminal, deadbeat, abuser, or worse? How is it in their interests that these people continue to believe the lies and assist in the parental alienation of your children?
In truth, most family law judges don’t care about that or children. What they really care about is not seeing their names in print or on the web associated with their misconduct and abuses. They abuse so many people in courts that staying on the bench requires they terrorize most of their victims into silence. Consequently, they view somebody who is willing to stand and fight an information war against a PDA’s distortion campaign as a potential threat to their careers. Some of them may also be bright and unethical enough to know that the PDA is truly the abuser but is so much good at being an abuser that it is “safer” for them rule against the victim as that way the abuser is less likely to attack them and it tends to further discredit the victim.
Many or even most of these family law judges will side with the PDA against such a vocal target unless there is some reason not to do so. Such reasons include the judge getting campaign contributions from the target’s attorney, friendships or family connections with the target’s attorney, local law enforcement has determined they have a gripe with the PDA and wants them punished and has let the judge know it, or some other likely biased reason that should require the judge recuse due to not being able to listen and decide impartially. But these judges will not recuse, they would rather hang on to a case and continue to terrorize the victim into silence because they believe they benefit from doing so.
PDAs are sneaky and often quite intelligent. Some of them go to great lengths to thoroughly co-opt their target’s electronic life. They may install keyboard loggers, spyware, network monitors, or other tools on to the target’s computer and use them to collect lots of information they can use to attack the target. Over time, they learn passwords, names of friends, websites visited, potentially embarrassing private information, and more. This can continue even after the break-up.
If you realize that you ever let a PDA touch your computer or cell phone or one might have been able to do so when you were not around, you should consider backing up all the data on the devices and wiping them out and reinstalling everything from scratch, even reflashing the BIOS on the computers and inspecting all the hardware for possible changes. That’s because some of these people can be very crafty, even infecting the BIOS on a computer with spyware or installing USB hardware keyboard loggers between the PC and keyboard and then retrieving them at a later time.
Some PDAs may be employed in professions such as law enforcement and national security in which they have access to computer spying and hacking tools that can be very sophisticated and difficult to detect. That’s because the government may have conspired with certain “security” software vendors to hide the presence of spyware such as the FBI’s rumored Magic Lantern program.
(from Wikipedia: Magic Lantern)
The public disclosure of the existence of Magic Lantern sparked a debate as to whether anti-virus companies could or should detect the FBI’s keystroke logger.
Concerns include uncertainties about Magic Lantern’s full potential and whether hackers could subvert it for purposes outside the jurisdiction of the law.
Bridis reported that Network Associates (maker of McAfee anti-virus products), had contacted the FBI following the press reports about Magic Lantern to ensure their anti-virus software would not detect the program. Network Associates issued a denial, fueling speculation as to which anti-virus products might or might not detect government trojans.
After you ensure your computers and cell phones aren’t compromised, or from devices elsewhere you know that can be trusted, change all of your passwords for your email, shopping, banking, and other accounts. You may also consider changing the user names, too. Essentially you should assume that you are an identify theft victim and act accordingly. Otherwise, you may find yourself with some very nasty surprises. For instance, the PDA may get into your email account and send a scathing or even seemingly intoxicated email to your boss that gets you fired, you may find thousands of dollars of unwanted stuff ordered on your credit cards showing up at your home or elsewhere, or have your bank account cleared out. These people are essentially criminally-minded and believe they are above the law, so anything goes.
If you’re in the position of being a target of attack by a PDA’s distortion campaign, possibly the best thing you can do is to disappear without a trace. Even consider changing your name. If the PDA can’t find you and doesn’t know your name any longer, she or he can’t attack you.
But if you’re stuck with having children with the PDA, this may be too difficult an option to chose. PDAs often end up with substantial or even sole custody of children that they are very likely to abuse much as they abused their former partners. You may realize your kids are likely being abused and that if you disappear, they will be abused even worse. PDAs tend to need somebody to attack and ruin, it makes them feel better about themselves. So if they lose their ex as a target they will find another target. Those targets are usually people very close to them, hence if you were abused by a PDA then your children are likely in danger for similar abuse that may be even more damaging to their young minds.
As one reader of Shrink4Men expressed in a recent letter, the damage that PDAs can do to children is astronomical and they will continue to abuse others because it helps them feel better about themselves. She’s particularly focused on BPD because her abusive parent was a Borderline, but her thinking is applicable to nearly any personality disordered abuser regardless of the exact diagnosis.
Love does not cure BPD. Pills do not cure BPD. Only the BPD can do it. That will happen when pigs fly. I have studied and followed many BPD’s for years who were treated with all different kinds of therapies. They may lose some aspect of their problem, but there is always a serious part of it that remains and requires still more treatment. I know many that are told they have biochemical illnesses and take pills. They help some, but not a lot. It is just another way for some psychologist or psychiatrist to buy into their own biochemical delusion and for the BPD to avoid responsibility for themselves and blame it on their biochemistry. Some are made worse by meds.
Get your kids out ASAP. Ask Dr. T for a personalized plan in conjunction with legal help. She is a trustworthy psychologist. Trust me when I say that I don’t like many psychologists or psychiatrists because they are largely incompetent, crazy or have serious problems themselves and practice pop or junk science. Heed her warnings. She is 100 percent right when it comes to these woman. Your children do not deserve what I was put through.
My siblings had serious problems brought out. My sister developed BPD and developed Schizophrenia from the constant stress and chaos. My brother’s Schizophrenia surfaced partly because of the psychological assaults, as did my sister’s. I did not develop Schizophrenia and am now 51. I was just damn lucky. This is how serious BPD Cluster B behavior is. Do not twist my example around and say, “Veronica turned out okay, so my kids will.”
You do not know what these crazy people will do or the level of psychopathy they have over a span of time or what new PD they will develop. I have seen that happen many times and most shrinks don’t even mention that. Most shrinks don’t know BPD that well because they don’t work with them, yet they talk about them like they do. You don’t know what new vice they will pick up or who they will have sex with. In no way do I condone your choice to stay with any PD, yet alone a BPD Cluster B who usually has Paranoid PD as well. It is a very serious form of child abuse and abuse to yourself.
Dr. T is right when she said they go after gifted people who are good. They want to take everything that is good in you and your children. They try to take the good from you because they aren’t capable of it and don’t have it within themselves. They try to destroy what’s good in others in an effort to destroy their own projected self-hate.
The only retaliation is to live well when you meet these people and when they hurt you. Just hope they get what they deserve and go on living well. Don’t stoop to their level or become like them. They hate it because they can’t do that and that is a huge part of their problem with inferiority. They are inferior because they do horrible things and deserve to feel that way. In the end, they set themselves up with their own pathology anyway and get what they deserve. They will do it to themselves and don’t need an enemy because they are their own worst enemy. That I can guarantee you.
Every time you let one get to you somehow you give them your power. That is what they really want — to have you feel and be as bad as them, feel as shitty or as antisocial as they do. If you allow this to happen, then they don’t feel so bad about themselves. They thrive that way. You enable them to continue when you allow them to affect you in any way or give them anything. Strictly adhere to this until you totally exceed. It may be difficult for some, but it can be done. The reward is that you will have your own mental health back and they will mean nothing to you. Be careful out there, these disorders are running rampant.
Unfortunately, solutions for this dilemma are often unavailable because the courts will not reign PDAs in to make them stop the abuses. All you can do is your best to keep your children from being abused and turned into abusers themselves, but it is going to cost a lot of misery and heartache to do it.
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