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Aug 13 2013

Do you know the person behind the tumblr “Creative Pooping”, who goes by the name Dallas Haugh?

If you do, please get in touch with him immediately and get him some help — he’s written what sounds an awful lot like a public suicide note today. Or it could just be a cry of despair. But he needs someone now.


The police in his hometown have been contacted, and I’ve heard one report that they reached him and found him safe. Everyone relax a little bit.

79 comments

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  1. 1
    PZ Myers

    Really, don’t wait. If you know him personally, get on the phone right now.

  2. 2
    Pteryxx

    Dallas Haugh doesn’t seem to ID as male, from what I can tell. The allegation made would suggest otherwise.

  3. 3
    PZ Myers

    This is his facebook page, if that helps.

  4. 4
    PZ Myers

    No, I don’t know him — he singles me out as “insufferable”, so I’m no help, but I’d rather not see him hurt in any way.

  5. 5
    embertine

    I reported the post to tumblr, not sure what they can do. Fron what I have found elsewhere, he is 23 and lives in Sarasota, Florida. Worth contacting the authorities?

  6. 6
    embertine

    Also found out what school he went to, Pineview in Sarasota. Possibility that they will be able to contact his family? I have no idea what to do in circumstances like this.

  7. 7
    procrastinatorordinaire

    His address is [redacted] if that helps. [Thanks, I've given that to the police. --pzm]

  8. 8
    nomadiq

    Dallas. If you happen to be reading the comments here I want you to know I’ve been to that very dark place too. And it is possible to come back. You clearly have passion for this. Make sure it stays around. Only in time can you see what you will contribute, what fears you will overcome and the amazing victories you will have. And you will have them.

  9. 9
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    His address is [redacted] if that helps.

    Erm. I’m vaguely uncomfortable with someone’s address posted as a comment on such a high-traffic blog as this one.

    Can this information be forwarded to the police, and then redacted?

  10. 10
    keysama

    I have a SA account so a messaged eccotheraven. No response yet.

  11. 11
    SQB

    This [redacted] is probably his G+ account. None of the people who have him in their circles was online on (in?) hangouts. What’s the best way to contact any of them?

  12. 12
    embertine

    I have reported it to the local police.

  13. 13
    Tuba From

    Why don’t you forward the blog page to one of the people of his family in his FB page? There are several people wth the same surname… They are the best people to help him… and know where to contact him.

  14. 14
    SQB

    One of the people who have him in their circles, seems to be https://twitter.com/merkeyman Can anyone with an account contact him through twitter?

  15. 15
    PZ Myers

    I was also on the phone to the Sarasota police, they’ve sent someone to his home. I’m hoping he’s going to be really pissed off that we woke him up before 8am.

    I’m deleting his address now, the authorities have got it.

  16. 16
    Jadehawk

    yeh, that address needs to not be posted here. PZ, please delete that comment

  17. 17
    embertine

    Have had a response from tumblr – they are reviewing the page and will decide whether to contact Dallas or the authorities. They also mentioned commenting on his blog and leaving details for a suicide prevention hotline. I don’t have a tumblr account, I see keysama has signal boosted.

  18. 18
    ness28

    I messaged who appears to be his mother on Facebook.

  19. 19
    embertine

    Really hoping this is a hoax designed to make some point about rape accusations on the internet. PZ, please will you let us know if you hear anything?

  20. 20
    PZ Myers

    Someone on twitter has reported that “he’s been located and is secure.”

    Which is good. He’s going to detest me even more, but I can live with that.

  21. 21
    keysama

    Did get a message back from eccotheraven but no new info.

  22. 22
    SQB

    PZ, could you please redact the URL’s I’ve given as well? His G+ presence contains pictures of him. Thanks.

  23. 23
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    Someone on twitter has reported that “he’s been located and is secure.”

    Awesome.

    Put me on the list of people who have been there and found their way back from it. It can get better, no really.

    Also, forgive me if this is inappropriate, but that was quite an eloquent suicide note.

  24. 24
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    I wouldn’t usually suggest this – but given the nature of this incident:
    Wouldn’t it be prudent to pull this post now that the issue have been resolved? Or at least anonymise it (including removing the link)?

  25. 25
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Glad he’s OK, and kudos to everyone who helped. It’s great the way people just banded together to help him, especially as he’s a complete stranger. Faith in humanity = restored :)

    I couldn’t help, so I figured I’d better just stay out of it rather than taking up space on the thread with meaningless platitudes, but now he’s found I figure it’s OK to do so :)

  26. 26
    SQB

    Seconding Gnumann+’s proposal.

  27. 27
    PZ Myers

    Latest word is that he’s in the hospital. I don’t know whether that’s simply for observation or because he’s harmed himself somehow. But everything is under control, anyway.

  28. 28
    procrastinatorordinaire

    While the suicide note is still public, I think any information about his safety should remain public also.

  29. 29
    carlie

    I understand the impulse, gnumann, but isn’t that adding to the stigma of suicide attempts? If Dallas decides to pull his/her original post, then it would be kind to pull this one down. Otherwise, it could be a help to anyone who reads the original and freaks out and goes looking for more info.

  30. 30
    Stephanie Zvan

    In addition to what Carlie said, this whole thread is a template for handling this sort of thing well. People who read it will have some idea of what to do if they find themselves faced with the same problem instead of just freezing.

  31. 31
    SQB

    Did anyone else notice the third and fourth paragraphs of his note?

  32. 32
    embertine

    SQB, well… yeah. And of course, now the Sarasota police have it too. Watch this space.

  33. 33
    Badland

    @31 – very much so. Which is why he linked to his Tumblr in a Shermer thread.

    I will not speculate beyond that

  34. 34
    Badland

    Also, congratulations to whatever network alerted PZ to a link buried in a fast-moving thread. I noticed that only Martin Wagner commented directly on Haugh’s post, but that was a fast reaction from PZ given the time in Minnesota

  35. 35
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    I understand the impulse, gnumann, but isn’t that adding to the stigma of suicide attempts?

    Frankly, protecting [redacted]‘s privacy is more important than dealing with stigma, right now.

    Leaving the information not-redacted is…kind of like forcing [redacted] to become an activist for “the cause”….immediately after a suicide attempt. And as important as fighting stigma is, can we please not force this upon zir, and definitely not right now?

    At the very least, all new information discovered in these comments should probably be redacted.

    Also, can we please stop with the online rubbernecking?

    Zie’s in good hands; there’s nothing more we can do, other than support from afar, and afaik zie doesn’t owe us updates or anything like that.

    if [redacted] decides to pull his/her original post, then it would be kind to pull this one down.

    If involuntary hospitalization in [redacted-state] is anything similar to involuntary hospitalization up here in Massachusetts, I’d bet that [redacted] won’t have access to any internet-enabled device for a few days, so zie wouldn’t be able to pull the post even if zie wanted to.

  36. 36
    carlie

    And some asshole decided to comment on that post and call them a liar. On a suicide note. Those people have no sense of humanity, period.

  37. 37
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    And some asshole decided to comment on that post and call them a liar. On a suicide note. Those people have no sense of humanity, period.

    ….o.O wow.

  38. 38
    Asher Kay

    Frankly, protecting [redacted]‘s privacy is more important than dealing with stigma, right now.

    A thousand times yes.

  39. 39
    David Marjanović

    that was quite an eloquent suicide note

    Oh yes, as much as I disagree on the likelihood of nuclear war (not gonna happen) and grey goo (definitely not gonna happen).

    And some asshole decided to comment on that post and

    Where? At present, this is the entirety of the comment section:

    skeptich reblogged this from creativepooping

    keysama reblogged this from creativepooping and added:

    Edit: PZ got a message that “he’s been located and secured.”

    akizeta likes this

    creativepooping posted this

  40. 40
    David Marjanović

    Oh. Do you mean skeptich’s blog? (Rule about people with “skeptic” in their names…)

  41. 41
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    tw: asshole

    skeptich reblogged this from creativepooping and added:
    Yet another plusser under the shadow of anonymity making baseless allegations and committing libel.

  42. 42
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    …and of course my fancy HTML gets stripped out.

    sigh.

  43. 43
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    skeptich reblogged this from creativepooping and added:
    Yet another plusser under the shadow of anonymity making baseless allegations and committing libel.

    *rageflail*

    They ignored the clear and obvious suicide note, and instead focussed on one paragraph in which the blogger says Shermer also raped them… and then goes on to claim that the blogger is lying about that experience? How is a personal account of rape a “baseless allegation”? Did this “Skeptich” arsehole even read the fucking paragraph they’re focussing on?

    Fuck.

  44. 44
    Scr... Archivist

    Not only that, but “Skeptich” has nothing else on their Tumblr blog. This looks like their first post.

    Does a new Tumblr blog always start with “Your Awesome Tagline” as the default tagline? ‘Cause I think maybe “Skeptich” created this account in response to Redacted’s suicide note. That would be pretty damn low.

  45. 45
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    Does a new Tumblr blog always start with “Your Awesome Tagline” as the default tagline?

    I believe so?

  46. 46
    procrastinatorordinaire

    nightshadequeen:

    Yet another plusser under the shadow of anonymity…

    Skeptich also doesn’t understand the meaning of the word anonymous.

  47. 47
    The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs)

    @David Marjanović, #39:

    Oh yes, as much as I disagree on the likelihood of nuclear war (not gonna happen) and grey goo (definitely not gonna happen).

    I could see nuclear war happening within the next couple of decades. First, Russia continues to push further and further to their own brand of right-wing religiosity, which is on a par with Mormonism for transparent fraudulent claims. Putin goes out somehow — sudden natural death, political ouster, whatever. His successor pushed the religious stuff even harder to maintain unity. Eventually, they start passing laws like the current anti-gay law against anyone who isn’t Russian Orthodox. Since a lot of Russian Jews have left for Israel, they start scapegoating Jews (which is an established meme in Russian history already). Waning U.S. power combined with U.S. backing of Israel and the fact that Russia is good buddies with a lot of countries who don’t like Israel very much makes Israel a favorite target for their Two Minutes Hate, and eventually, someone disconnected with reality on a George-W.-Bush-like level lobs a nuke. This sets off the U.S., and when China sees nukes flying over the horizon they respond, and pretty soon everyone with a nuke is launching it on the basis that this is the last chance they’ll ever have to see if it actually works as advertised. (And that’s just one possibility. All it would really take to set everything off is one nuke being launched, if it were launched at the right target — it could even be a dud and that would make no difference because the whole point of M.A.D. was that the response was inevitable and swift.)

    Sound far-fetched? Well, who, in (say) 1993 would have believed everything which happened in the U.S. over the next 20 years? We’re about 3 steps from turning into a kind of nightmare Orwellian spin on a banana republic thanks to a mixture of unprecedented corruption (from both of the major parties — Obama is the guy who decided not to prosecute anything the Bush administration or the banks did, remember) and right-wing religious idiocy (which is only mostly confined to the Republicans). None of that was immediately obvious in 1993. That Russia could go batsh*t insane in 20 years is plausible in comparison.

  48. 48
    drrob

    The speed and urgency with which everyone handled this is top notch! The individual in question clearly needs urgent psychiatric attention which it appears is now being received, based on the comments about hospitalization. So, so many people never make it to the hospital, and a shattered family is left behind to limp through life. You’ve all done a really wonderful thing today.

    PZ, it’s ok if the individual in question is as mad as a wet cat at you today. In about 2 or 3 weeks, that view may change remarkably. Also, there’s a family out there somewhere that quite likely cannot thank you enough.

  49. 49
    Martin Wagner

    Yeah, I think I saw his comment/Tumblr and called the Sarasota Police within about ten minutes of him posting it, but I had no address, and only the information on his FB page to go on. So all the dispatcher could do at the time was promise they’d try to figure out where he was. I’m glad other people had more info and were able to get him tracked down and safe. Teamwork!

  50. 50
    rorschach

    I’m sorry, I don’t know about this one, it confuses me. The person in question seems to be male, and yet there is a rape allegation against a heterosexual male here. I’m not a profiler, but I’m not aware of male sexual predators with a track record of going after women who also go after men. Does this bother anyone else, or am I missing a piece here?

  51. 51
    PZ Myers

    Don’t overanalyze. This is a person apparently deep in the grips of depression. The only message you should take from his note is “I NEED HELP”.

  52. 52
    rorschach

    Thanks, got it.

  53. 53
    johannaschmitt

    @rorschach

    There is the possibility that he is Trans and was still presenting as female when the encounter with Schermer happened.

  54. 54
    johannaschmitt

    Oh crap, my apologies, was writing while PZ posted his message. Nevermind!

  55. 55
    Louis

    Rorcschach,

    I wondered the same thing as you, thought the same thing as Johannaschmitt, then realised that what PZ said was the best course of action.

    I am glad that (it appears) he is getting the help he so urgently needs. I wouldn’t wish depression on someone I didn’t like, let alone anyone else.

    Louis

  56. 56
    Bicarbonate is back

    @Rorschach

    This is not related to the person in question here and may be off topic, but as I understand it, there is quite a percentage of us humans who is attracted to both sexes or “all sexes” should we say or who go back and forth or are attracted to none whatsoever. Even the self-declared staunchest heteros or homos sometimes experiment or feel attracted to the sex they usually aren’t attracted to. And, if, on top of that, rape is not about sex but about domination and dominion, then there’s not much of a contradiction in a known hetero varying.

  57. 57
    embertine

    There is actually a bit more info about that on some of the links in his blog post, but I agree with PZ (HIVEMIND!); I wouldn’t normally be telling people not to get too hung up on sexual assault allegations, but in this case first and foremost is that he is hopefully getting help.

  58. 58
    guyincognito

    The “rape” was allegorical. A way to tie the author’s pain & suffering to a recent news story in a community that he felt some part of (hence the references to PZ and leaving the link to the letter on PZ’s blog).

    I thank Martin, procrast*, and PZ for contacting the police. I feel that people should have the right to choose their own time, but 23 years old is just too damn young.

    I think this thread can now be deleted to protect his privacy, as can the link to his tumbler/blog in the other thread.

    Thanks.

  59. 59
    don1

    Well done, everybody. On a very minor point, while he did describe PZ as ‘insufferable’ (and you can see his reasoning) he also said he couldn’t stay mad at him too long and strongly implied he saw him as being on the same side of the issue as himself. I may be over-reading this but his reference to PZ seemed to suggest that he thought he was generally right about stuff, in some ways awesome, but was exasperated by his on-line persona at it’s most acerbic.

    Anyway, good result.

  60. 60
    Roquetin

    Is suicide a crime in Florida? If not, why would the police apprehend him? Anyway, I hope he survives his likely sentence in the looney bin.

  61. 61
    Hatchetfish

    Roquetin. No. It isn’t anywhere in the U.S. As to why the police would ‘apprehend’ Haugh, for Haugh’s own protection. It need not even have been an arrest. As for the rest of your comment, I’ll leave it to others who might cover it more constructively for you than I’m inclined.

  62. 62
    cassandro

    Holy shit, did that ever hit too close to home. I want to reach out to him so much it hurts.

  63. 63
    Nicholas Sullivan

    Fuck, good work on this and lets hope he makes his way out of that horrible state of mind. Should be a bit easier to escape though with all this out-pouring of support + Goons can be pretty damn awesome at coming to the rescue. But that requires one to recognise the help that’s there and a major depressive episode is can screw you up and stop you from doing that unless you’ve got coping mechanisms :/

    (knows all too well what it’s like)

  64. 64
    Martin Wagner

    60: Police are often sent on things called “wellness checks,” if there is someone people are afraid may be ill, suicidal, in need of help and unable to help themselves, and so on.

  65. 65
    Wes

    guyincognito

    13 August 2013 at 1:22 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    The “rape” was allegorical. A way to tie the author’s pain & suffering to a recent news story in a community that he felt some part of (hence the references to PZ and leaving the link to the letter on PZ’s blog).

    …….Huh?

    I think this would be a very good time to heed PZ’s “Don’t read too much into it” warning. His claim certainly doesn’t sound allegorical to me. I admit it seems strange as this accuser is male whereas prior accusers were female, but let’s not start trying to turn what sounds to me like an actual accusation into a bit of symbolic poetry or what not.

  66. 66
    leighshryock

    Is suicide a crime in Florida? If not, why would the police apprehend him? Anyway, I hope he survives his likely sentence in the looney bin.

    It was, in fact, a crime in many states. AFAIK, no states have a law on the books that either can, or is enforced. It is still, to my knowledge, a crime to assist in any suicide.

    Police can go on a ‘wellness’ check, and can determine if the person is an imminent threat to themselves or others and intervene if given reasonable suspicion. It’s not a crime, per se, but it’s still actionable (by removing the danger to themselves). Remember, the state can, and sometimes does, prevent people from hurting themselves by institutionalizing them for a temporary period.

    I’m not judging this ability by the state: it likely does get misused at times, but it can also save lives at times.

  67. 67
    embertine

    FYI, the post appears to have been taken down now.

  68. 68
    Dallas Haugh

    Hello. I’m out of the hospital now, relatively safe, and just want to clarify a few things. I am going to take a break from responding for a few days after this.

    There is the possibility that he is Trans and was still presenting as female when the encounter with Schermer happened.

    I am a cisgender bisexual male.

    The “rape” was allegorical.

    This is not the case.

    No, I don’t know him — he singles me out as “insufferable”, so I’m no help, but I’d rather not see him hurt in any way.

    I apologize for being a bit blunt, but I was in a bad mood (obviously), and wanted to emphasize that this wasn’t some bizarre ideological conspiracy, but an actual thing that was (and is) happening. Please make a big deal out of it.

    I may write more about this in the future.

    FYI, the post appears to have been taken down now.

    That was not my decision; my brother took it down, mostly out of concern for family members. I am going to wait a few days to recover from the experience before we decide if to repost it (I’m personally leaning towards it, simply out of principle, but I do have to address the concerns of my friends and family, of course).

    Thank you all for the outpouring of support and help.

  69. 69
    piegasm

    Really relieved to hear you’re doing better Dallas. Take care of yourself.

  70. 70
    Pteryxx

    Dallas, good to hear that you’re doing better and have some going-forward in place. Thank you for letting us know, both here and in the original. Please take care of yourself.

    Please make a big deal out of it.

    Oh, we will. We so will.

  71. 71
    Inaji

    Hello. I’m out of the hospital now, relatively safe, and just want to clarify a few things. I am going to take a break from responding for a few days after this.

    Hello, Dallas. I’m so glad you are doing better, and I hope things keep getting better for you. You have my full support, and I believe you. If you need or want support at any time, stop on by here.

    Please make a big deal out of it.

    We are. We will. We won’t be silent.

  72. 72
    NelC

    Dallas, glad to hear you’re better, and I hope that you’ll continue to make progress.

  73. 73
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    You have my support, Dallas. I’m glad that you’re safe and doing better. Solidarity. And hugs if you want them.

  74. 74
    oolon

    Glad you are feeling better Dallas. You have my support as well and I believe you.

  75. 75
    sheila

    Internet hugs for Dallas (if you like internet hugs.)

  76. 76
    Dallas Haugh

    I have decided to repost a copy of the note, for future reference:

    It is located here.

  77. 77
    carlie

    Dallas, I know you don’t know me from anybody, but I’m so glad that you’re in a better way. We didn’t expect and you weren’t obligated to give us any follow-up, but thank you for doing so.

  78. 78
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Thank you for letting us know. I am very glad that you are still with us. I’ve been suicidal and my feeling now is that I dodged a bullet. Best wishes for your recovery.

  79. 79
    Pteryxx

    Dallas, Jason Thibeault has linked your repost in his timeline under August 13. I hope that accords with your wishes about going on the record. Thank you again and take care.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/08/12/sexual-harassment-accusations-in-the-skeptical-and-secular-communities-a-timeline-of-major-events/

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