“I had brought the necessary supplies.”


At the request of the woman targeted by this stalker, this post has been removed.

Comments

  1. tbtabby says

    I don’t know about a movie, but the book could become popular as a morbidly fascinating look into the mind of a twisted individual, a la Mein Kampf.

  2. woozy says

    well, the last seven times I’ve assumed something had to be surreal satirical fiction because no-one could be that weird or stupid, I was proven wrong. But surely this is surreal fiction, right, because no one can be that delusional, right?

    I mean the could be fiction, right?

    … well, ninth times the charm. Maybe.

  3. chigau (違う) says

    Sorry.
    I remotely diagnosed a family member when xe couldn’t make the doctor appointment because the busdrivers and morning chat-show hosts were conspiring to prevent xim making the appointment.
    Now I’m an expert.

  4. Ishikiri says

    Is this guy a loner? Does he not have anyone around to tell him: “Hey man, she’s just not into you, and you’re acting seriously weird”?

    I can sympathize with his state of mind, because I’ve also had times where I’ve been inordinately fixated on a certain person. It never escalated to stalker behavior, but it did get to a point in my own head where I had to force myself to forget about it and move on. Conversely, I’ve also been the object of unwanted affection, so I know what that’s like too.

    He’s not crazy, he just needs someone, or something, to snap him out of it and make him look at things objectively.

  5. reynardo says

    Didn’t John Fowles already write this one? (Seriously, maybe if someone points out to him that not only is it WRONG, but the idea’s already in the book and movie of The Collector.)

  6. says

    I wouldn’t try to diagnose mental illness, certainly. I will say that I suspect that whether or not his brain is in proper working order, it’s been infected with pernicious ideas — a memetic disorder, one might say. Not Science-Related Memetic Disorder, unfortunately. Ideas like those reflected in the songs he quotes, which really are creepy songs. Just because the Beatles wrote something doesn’t mean it was a good idea. Also romantic comedies and the whole Nice Guy archetype.

  7. Anne C. Hanna says

    [Delurking only because I think there’s potential for an issue here that may not be on the radar of the normally-sensitive commentariat.]

    I can’t believe I’m saying this about somebody who wrote a stalker narrative as disturbing as the one this guy is responsible for, but that video just fills me with painful empathy for him. I’ve known people like him — so socially awkward, so earnestly obliviously absorbed in one or a few meaningless hobbies to the exclusion of all else, so proud of achievements most others would see as trivial.

    The reason I’m mentioning this is that I would like to humbly request an additional degree of sensitivity in discussing this guy’s output, beyond just, “no diagnoses of mental illness over the internet”. People like this tend to be hurt a lot over the course of their lives because of their impossible-to-camouflage oddities, and it seems to me that too much focus on the strangeness of his video, or on the quality of his writing, or any other peripheral issues, is likely to contribute more to stigmatizing people with the kinds of vulnerabilities he seems to have than to defending people who have been targeted by stalkers.

    To be clear, I’m not saying that anything could excuse the way this guy has treated (and hints that he may continue to treat) the woman he stalked. The stalking is fucking horrifying, and I think it’s incredibly important to call that kind of thing out, in no uncertain terms, so I’m glad that PZ and others are talking about this. But, as someone who is also extremely socially awkward to the degree that I can see bits and pieces of myself in him, I would feel somewhat more comfortable if those fully-deserved criticisms are tempered with a certain amount of sensitivity to weird, obsessive nerdery, so as to avoid splash damage.

    I beg everyone to remember that, while the Countdown video is full of extremely peculiar content and affect, being abnormal in affect and interests is not the thing he did wrong here. The thing he did wrong is that he aggressively, persistently, and frighteningly pursued a woman, continuing long after she had made it crystal clear (for any suitor who was both neurotypical and respectful, at least) that she wanted nothing more than to be left alone. That’s more than enough to criticize him for, because it’s pretty damn bad.

  8. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    Damned good thing that he did not even get a chance to ask her if she wanted to pretend to be kidnapped.

    I can say that I was very freaked out when a person I was role playing with online asked me where I lived so that he could kidnap me.

    Yeah, I never answered that question and cut off contact with him.

  9. F.O. says

    @Anne C. Hanna: Thanks, I for one appreciate your comment.
    I had relationship problems myself and I have been a creep and member of the “PUA” community, both of which I regret.

    While not excusing his behavior in the slightest (seriously, that poor woman is terrorized) I think that he’s a victim too, and I wish men had better tools to take responsibility for their romantic failures.

  10. says

    reynardo @10

    Didn’t John Fowles already write this one? (Seriously, maybe if someone points out to him that not only is it WRONG, but the idea’s already in the book and movie of The Collector.)

    Urgh, yes. Had to read that thing at high school. Thirty years later and never having read it since, it skeeves me out even more these days, not least because of how often it happens in real life.

  11. raven says

    Good times. Not!!!

    I’ve had way more than one stalker myself.

    One ex stalked me for something like ten years. After the first year they never got too close because I threatened to get a restraining order and it would be easy in this state.

    Instead, every once in a while, they would park outside my house and honk their horn for a while and then drive away. Usually late at night.

    It did have a happy ending, sort of. One day someone handing me the obituary page of the newspaper. You used to know him, right? I knew he had a binge drinking problem but didn’t know how bad it was. Dead of a massive heart attack and not all that old either. His mother came to his funeral. It turned out that they were a lot crazier than even I knew and the alcohol problem more severe than even I thought.

  12. Anne C. Hanna says

    F.O. @16, I’m glad you learned better. :D

    Your comment does make me want to edit my own a little bit, though, because it caused me to realize that, overwhelmed as I was by the pathos of the video, I didn’t really draw the distinction between pitiable but not dangerous weirdos and … whatever this guy is doing … as clearly as I would have liked to. There are plenty of weirdo nerds, even ones with pretty ill-informed ideas about how romance works, who do not construct elaborate kidnapping fantasies in their heads, much less bring them anywhere near as close to fruition as our current subject. I don’t want to tar them with the brush of this guy’s behavior.

    Because the thing about actually going out and getting the supplies and seeking her out with them in hand? Truly fucking scary, and way beyond anything that mere weirdness will lead you to. What would he have done if he’d actually had a chance to present his idea to her and then she’d refused? It’s all to easy to read his narrative as a possible post-hoc rationalization of a last-minute loss of nerve on a genuinely non-consensual kidnap plan. I sincerely hope I’m just reading too much into it, but when somebody tells a story like this, how the hell do you know?

  13. mickll says

    I was going to tell her that if she came with me, and we faked a kidnapping, we would both become famous. We would go into the hills and camp out for a few days while the nation searched. I had brought the necessary supplies.

    I would like to reiterate that I was not plotting to kidnap her. I was planning on asking her if she would be interested in pretending to be kidnapped, so that we would make the news and people would learn about our story.

    *blinks*
    *stares*
    *backs away slowly*

  14. azhael says

    Anne C. Hanna

    I too have met people who share characteristics with him and i also felt a twinge of pity for what i recognized as a very lonely, very socially misstreated individual. What he has done is not acceptable, but like you said, it’s his actions towards that woman that are wrong, not the way he talks, or his attempt at gaining some attention…
    I feel particularly sorry because i’ve always thought that individuals like him are, at least in part, the product of how others have treated them their whole lives, it’s not just not being neurotypical….he reads as someone who has suffered at the hands of others.

  15. opposablethumbs says

    Because nothing says “person whom you could confidently accompany to an isolated location, dropping everything and telling no-one where you’re going” than an extended stalking campaign.
    Very frightening.
    Also, Anne C Hanna, thank you for saying what you did. What’s appalling about this bloke is his sense of entitlement and what he did, not what he sounds like when speaking or how nerdy he might be, and it’s good that you pointed that out.

  16. Charles Thornton says

    Countdown, a minor afternoon TV game about making words from randomly selected vowels and consonants, and using simple arithmetic operations to construct a larger given random number from smaller random numbers. Hosted by a (male) C list celebrity with an obligatory woman who can do arithmetic to show up the contestants in the “numbers game”. Popular with Scrabble fans and Sudoku fans.

    Has a bit of cult status with students and pensioners.

  17. nomadiq says

    Countdown sounds a lot like “Numberwang”.

    Anne C. Hanna, great comment. We should be focusing on his truly distressing behavior (the stalking) and not his weird obsession with Countdown. They may be related or they may not be related.

    No remote diagnoses indeed.

  18. nomadiq says

    I’m actually gonna go one further here, after my last comment. The inclusion of the weird Countdown video is bullying. I don’t want to sound sympathetic to this man because, yes, stalking is serious and disturbing. I think the poor woman is entitled to the largest radius restraining order permissible by local law with very large consequences for violation because of the violent undertones to what he has been saying. But I notice that the video inclusion looks like either a last minute addition or a post-posting edit. For what purpose?

    Let me put it into this analogy (deliberately extreme to make a point) . Would I add anything to the conversation over the BTK killer by pointing out he had an out-of-date hair cut?

    We should be exclusively focusing on his stalking behavior, which has consequences for others. I watched only about 60% of the above video. Yes, its painfully weird. I don’t need to be shown everyones weird social awkwardness. I’ve had enough of my own and was punished for it. I’ve seen others and punished them for it myself. I like to think these days I’m in the business of stamping out that kind of bullying. If this video makes no reference to the stalking behavior or this women at all, it should be removed from a post about his stalking behavior. I don’t care that he is weird. I care that he is injuring others.

  19. Moddey says

    Tauriq wrote about this yesterday on his blog, and took it down after he was asked to do so by the woman in question. It looks like she has deleted her twitter account now. I don’t know whether it would do any good to remove this post at this point. It seems like this is a really shitty situation for her that she didn’t want to become public.

  20. DLC says

    Sorry, but I have no sympathy for stalkers, no matter how seemingly inoffensive they might be. Life is not a romantic comedy. The girl is not going to love you if you just keep playing silly pranks to get her attention. Being an asocial loner myself, I can have sympathy for those who want relationships but do not have them, but I refuse to allow that as an excuse for the stalking behavior. Stalkers can stop. They do know what they are doing is wrong. They elect not to stop.

  21. jennifred says

    This strongly reminds me of a Stephen Merchant style of humour. Except I didn’t laugh because this is an actual person,but the awkward, un self aware boasting is exactly the type of humour Merchant/Gervais use.

  22. A Masked Avenger says

    PZ, #4:

    No remote diagnoses of mental illness!

    Understood, and agreed.

    I’m very uncomfortable holding someone up to ridicule, though, in those cases where I find myself tempted to make remote diagnoses. There is the ableism inherent in making these diagnoses, but there is also the very real potential for using people with disabilities as entertainment.

    This man is potentially dangerous, that much is clear. I’m very uncomfortable pointing and laughing, though, and saying, “What a creepy little nimrod! What an ultramaroon!”

  23. says

    There is another way to interpret the last sentence, “But alas; I’ll have to find another way.” It could mean, “I’ll have to find another way to publish my novel.” If I were the victim, I wouldn’t take it that way, and I would hope law enforcement doesn’t, either, if she decides to enlist their help. But it’s interesting that the writer has the subtlety to make his intentions known while preserving the ability to claim, “No, no, you are taking this the wrong way.” I find that scariest of all.

    And Sting was hardly defending obsessive love when he wrote Every Breath You Take. As he later wrote:

    Sting later said he was disconcerted by how many people think the song is more positive than it is. He insists it’s about the obsession with a lost lover, and the jealousy and surveillance that follow. “One couple told me ‘Oh we love that song; it was the main song played at our wedding!’ I thought, ‘Well, good luck.'”[6] When asked why he appears angry in the music video Sting told BBC Radio 2, “I think the song is very, very sinister and ugly and people have actually misinterpreted it as being a gentle little love song, when it’s quite the opposite.”[7]

  24. tfkreference says

    My first thought about the fake kidnapping was that he was trying to establish plausible deniability: “I didn’t kidnap her – I published my plans to fake a kidnapping months ago. She was in on it!”

  25. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    well, the last seven times I’ve assumed something had to be surreal satirical fiction because no-one could be that weird or stupid, I was proven wrong. But surely this is surreal fiction, right, because no one can be that delusional, right?

    Reading this sort of thing gets old after a while. Just saying.

  26. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Sorry, but I have no sympathy for stalkers, no matter how seemingly inoffensive they might be. Life is not a romantic comedy. The girl is not going to love you if you just keep playing silly pranks to get her attention. Being an asocial loner myself, I can have sympathy for those who want relationships but do not have them, but I refuse to allow that as an excuse for the stalking behavior. Stalkers can stop. They do know what they are doing is wrong. They elect not to stop.

    I’m curious. When they encounter someone presenting a rebuttal to an argument no one present has made, do neurotypicals’ brains not have a response analogous to a wood chipper being “fed” a lamp post?

  27. Artor says

    @ azhael #22

    ….he reads as someone who has suffered at the hands of others.

    So what? I’ve been mistreated, and I expect you have too, as has pretty much anyone on the planet. It is still only the creepers with severe misunderstandings of social dynamics that would even think of pulling shit like this. I have zero sympathy for the Malevolent Stalker, or anyone like him. I hope his victim has restraining orders and a big can of mace in her purse. Or a real mace, with lots of spikes.

  28. iankoro says

    I do see the discomfort with the video being posted to mock him, but I would point out that if there’s anything funny about the video, it’s not his mannerisms and nerdiness, it’s his intense, delusional narcissism. He’s clearly convinced that he’s immensely important, and is under the impression that everyone is extremely impressed by his accomplisment. The way he feigns modesty when he tries to imply that he had some sort of sexual encounter with the woman on the show just makes him come across as a disgusting creep. He’s so impressed with himself that it dulls, to some extent, the sympathy I have for him.

  29. nutella says

    @Ishikiri

    Is this guy a loner? Does he not have anyone around to tell him: “Hey man, she’s just not into you, and you’re acting seriously weird”?

    It’s not mentioned in this post but in the jezebel story it says that a COP explained it to him after the victim reported him to the police. So yeah, he heard.

  30. A Masked Avenger says

    iankoro, #37:

    I do see the discomfort with the video being posted to mock him, but I would point out that if there’s anything funny about the video, it’s not his mannerisms and nerdiness, it’s his intense, delusional narcissism…

    Yeah, that’s kind of my point. He’s clearly delusional and a narcissist in the common sense of the word–but it seems disturbingly possible that he might be in the clinical sense as well. And if so, we are basically laughing at someone who can’t help it. Someone who may need help and serious intervention is instead being used as entertainment.

    How annoying someone is isn’t really a good barometer, IMO. People with problems are usually “annoying,” because whatever their problem is, it’s probably a very big deal to them, and a pain in the ass to you. Very few problems have the side effect of making someone a blast to be around.

    All this is separate, of course, from the potential danger posed by this person. I’m very uncomfortable making a spectacle of him, but I’m perfectly comfortable with whatever needs to be done to deal with the risk he clearly poses.

  31. liz321 says

    Any concern that posting this is giving this guy exactly what he wanted…fame surrounding his pursuit of this woman?

  32. Marc Abian says

    That video is almost definitely comedy. And I’m basing that more on the content and delivery than the fact that the uploader himself classed it as comedy.

    It’s basically David Brent wins countdown (though obviously not as good as that).

    You’re countdown champion, why are you hanging around with us?
    Ok, I’m a countdown champion, it’s not that big a deal, you’re still my friends, chill out
    On that occasion they did ask why I had my countdown teapot with me, which I have everywhere
    I like tea… A lot of people like tea

  33. Anne C. Hanna says

    azhael @22, opposablethumbs @23, nomadiq @26, and A Masked Avenger @39, I’m glad to see at least some people recognizing the importance of handling this kind of thing with sensitivity.

    nomadiq @27, I’ve got to admit that I felt some bullying-ish overtones to the posting of the video too. I’m trying to give PZ the benefit of the doubt and assume he didn’t mean it that way, but it does make me very uncomfortable.

    Moddey @28, I admit I had also wondered about the effects of all this on the target (and on the stalker’s future behavior). Since the stalker’s name is public, that means the target presumably knows this is about her, and that’s got to be pretty damn distressing. It seems quite likely that this story blowing up is the first she’s found out about both his novel about her and the kidnap plan and … just … ugh. What a way to learn something like that. And who knows what he’s going to do now that he’s got the publicity he wanted. It seems likely that it’s going to be impossible to completely shut down the story at this point, though. :(

    DLC @29, artor @36, and iankoro @37, I have no sympathy for malevolent stalking, but I do have a lot of sympathy for innocent weirdos who are harmed when we treat it as acceptable to mock people for being weird nerds. And, yes, the “intense, delusional narcissism” iankoro talks about is part of the kind of nerdy weirdness I’m referring to. Being proud of his accomplishment, even to the degree of developing a cognitive distortion that blinds him to the fact that others find it unimpressive/uninteresting, is not what he’s doing that’s harmful to others. Hell, even wishing he could have a relationship with a woman who doesn’t want him isn’t what he’s doing that’s harmful to others. The thing that he’s doing that harms others is acting on this in a way that comes off as threatening — making sexual insinuations about the female host of Countdown, aggressively and persistently pursuing the woman he’s stalked, stuff like that. Please don’t let your rightful disgust at the harm he’s doing spill over into mockery that can harm the kinds of vulnerable people who do weird but harmless things like taking inordinate pride in their Countdown skills.

    Azkyroth @35, I can’t speak for anyone else, but my brain was sure hurting after reading DLC’s apparent unwillingness to process, “To be clear, I’m not saying that anything could excuse the way this guy has treated (and hints that he may continue to treat) the woman he stalked. The stalking is fucking horrifying, and I think it’s incredibly important to call that kind of thing out, in no uncertain terms, so I’m glad that PZ and others are talking about this.”

  34. Kevin Kehres says

    Sounds like the plot of every James Patterson book ever.

    “Supplies” is what worries me…are we talking tents and sleeping bags? Or duct tape and ball gags?

    Were I the woman in question, I would file a police report, obtain a restraining order and make sure it was served. Definitely someone who needs to be informed in official, formal, and legal means that they’ve crossed a boundary.

    Yes, I think cases like this need to be reported and discussed. To not talk about this is to leave the woman in question at the mercy of her stalker’s whims. It definitely won’t get better merely by leaving it alone.

  35. Matrim says

    @41, Marc Abian

    Yeah, watching the video I thought it seemed like an attempt at comedy. It just takes on troubling overtones when you hear the other stuff and assume he’s being serious.

    I’m unable to actually read the Jezabel story as Kinja apparently hates me, and the other outlets I’ve been able to read have solely referenced the post and not any public record or other sources. So, with essentially nothing but the blog to go off of, I ask: is this real or is it a work of fiction?

  36. Monsanto says

    But he’s a Countdown champion… Shouldn’t that entitle him to anything [or anyone] he wants? I mean… not everyone is a Countdown champion. He seems like such a delightful fellow. And he likes tea.

  37. The Mellow Monkey says

    Fuck. That’s terrifying. It’s been years since my stalker made any contact with me and I still live in fear and get a little creeped out when I have to do things in the public eye. I sincerely hope his victim is safe and has support.

    However, someone identifying as the victim is making requests for posts about his stalking to be taken down:

    I am the woman he has been and still is stalking and I ask you to please REMOVE this post. He is delusional and he will think this is making him famous thrives on the attention which will make him more dangerous and inadvertently put me at further risk. The police are aware of this blog. Thank you.

  38. Marc Abian says

    Yeah, watching the video I thought it seemed like an attempt at comedy

    He has categorised it as such on youtube. “Attempt” is a little harsh, it wasn’t too bad.

  39. Chris Hall says

    It seems Richard may have had an epiphany. He’s taken down the original offending post and put up an apology to the world in general saying “…I now accept that I have deep-rooted psychological problems and am actively seeking treatment.”

  40. Anne C. Hanna says

    That’s a good sign, Chris. Looks like the original post of PZ’s that we were responding to is gone too. Here’s hoping the stalker gets the help he needs, and the woman he was stalking is left in peace from here on out.

  41. Anne C. Hanna says

    Ariaflame @50, as far as I can tell, the attack happened on October 6, which was *before* all of the discussions here. According to his blog, he has since gone into counseling and is on antipsychotic medication. In addition, he is, of course, being prosecuted for the attack described at that link.

    This is a news report about the attack (link provided by the victim in the comments to the Jezebel article).

    So, on the one hand, the guy has definitely demonstrated a willingness to engage in actual violence, which makes fears about his dangerousness even more well-founded than they were before. But, on the other hand, the hopeful signs we already knew about are still hopeful, because they post-date rather than pre-date the attack.

  42. Anne C. Hanna says

    Sorry, update the attack date to October 3. The *article* is dated October 6, but it describes the attack as having happened on “Friday”, which would be the 3rd. Not that this alters my point.

  43. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    One can hope then. I only found out about the attack today when groggy and waking up so didn’t do my due diligence on date checking.

  44. Anne C. Hanna says

    I still appreciate you linking to that info though. I had not previously known that, in addition to everything else, he’d physically attacked a reviewer. It certainly makes the original story even more disturbing.