So a few days ago, I remembered Chris, one of the friends from Richard’s circle who lived in my town and became my friend, too–until he unfriended me one day on Facebook, after moving away and after my husband and I broke off relations with Richard and Tracy. Chris had always seemed like a nice guy, and he agreed with me about child abuse. I secretly hoped he would help influence Richard and Tracy to stop abusing their kids, when they saw I was not the only one who felt this way about slapping kids upside the head. He is mentioned several times in my story which starts here. I knew he was a political kook, into wacky extreme-right-wing conspiracy theories, and die-hard Libertarian/Constitutionalist/Tea-Partier. His Facebook posts became increasingly politically paranoid and crazy. But still, he seemed like a nice guy. Our only link to him after he moved away was Facebook, and I had stopped chatting with him online like I used to, because he was so close to Richard. So the unfriending led to losing touch. I wondered what had happened to him in the 2 years since the unfriending (which had also led to my post Fighting the Darkness, as I wondered if Richard had turned him against me as he turned me and others against Todd).
So I Googled Chris. To my shock, the very first hit that came up–with his real name and photograph, so I knew this was the same guy–was a blog post calling him a psychopath! The post was on a blog for the anti-government community experiment Chris had left our state to join. It was posted last September, several months after my stalkers found my blog; the post was written by a guest writer, not the owner of the blog; the owner of the blog called Chris “someone of whom to beware.” The guest writer, “Sherry,” titled it “Working With a Psychopath.” (!) Sherry wrote of her own experience with Chris; her husband, “Wayne,” had run for local office, and hired Chris as his campaign manager.
They soon became disturbed by Chris’ campaign tactics. Not only do people in that area prefer clean campaigns, no mud slinging, unlike what my state allows from time to time–but Chris was accused of being pushy and aggressive while talking to voters. One woman was so upset that she complained to Wayne, and was offended by how Chris derided the respected town manager. There were more problems which I won’t detail here; Wayne tried to sort them out with Chris, but got shut out. Chris directed Wayne to write a “letter bomb” (position paper) and give it to Chris for “tweaking.” Wayne wrote a positive letter about what he planned to do; Chris turned it into mudslinging against the opposition and others in government. Wayne refused to send this letter, said he would now run the campaign his own way, and because Chris could not accept that, he relieved Chris of his duties.
Chris began a smear campaign against Wayne and Sherry to other campaign volunteers, and to the community using a “letter bomb” which alleged Wayne was “mentally unstable” and unfit for the office. The same day he distributed this letter, Wayne, Sherry and volunteers were also out and about, campaigning. Sherry wrote that Chris “decided that he would try to intimidate” them, by driving slowly past them four separate times. She wrote, “Now, I’m no expert on the law, but I would say that’s borderline stalking.” On election day, Chris drove around the polling places with a sign on his van reading, “Re-elect a SANE [official]!” Then after the election, he kept going, smearing Wayne and Sherry to people in their community experiment, to people who had nothing to do with the campaign.
Sherry called him “a poison flowing into the veins of the liberty movement,” who needs to be cut out of it “before he can do real damage.” She wrote that many others have ostracized him already.
Chris saw the blog post, and responded. He posted a link to his side of the story and the “letter bombs” he wrote, but those no longer exist on the Web, so I could not review them. Even though he had scathing words against the opposing candidate during his stint as campaign manager, he now wrote that the opponent “is a good man” and intimated that Wayne “is itching to create controversy and problems.” He blamed Wayne for losing because he wouldn’t follow through with “the plan.”
In another forum, he again defended his actions, writing about doing what’s right, that it’s not “negative campaigning” but “telling the public the truth,” and accusing Sherry of “false statements” but saying he wasn’t going to “waste” his “time” by explaining them all. But–If Wayne was so terrible, and the opposition so much better, then where was Chris’ “honesty” in the condemning words he wrote/spoke against the opposition? He also claimed to “have run two successful campaigns before this one. My own and [another one].” Wait–WHAT? I just caught him in a lie: He LOST his own campaign! I know because that campaign was here in my town in 2010! How is that “successful”?
There’s more, too. For one, he has a habit of not paying his taxes or court judgments, and still (from what I can determine from online court records) owes thousands of dollars for claims going back to 2007! Also, back in 2005, he was accused on a web forum of being a con artist, trying to steal a certain long-established depository of files used by computer geeks (I can’t name or describe this further without making it possible for anyone to Google the depository and find his real name), and asking for donations to keep this depository running, which would actually go to his computer-based business. He had no connection to this depository, which, by the way, did not go down, despite fears to the contrary. He kept claiming he was being misunderstood, even apparently threatened a libel suit at some point, but his threat was laughed at. And, well, when I reviewed all the posts I could find on the subject, whether he meant to con or not, it was very easy for any reasonable person to take it as a con game. There is no question this is the same guy I knew, as his full name, location, and company name (which I recognized from an e-mail address and some information he had on Facebook), all matched Chris. He posted other things as well, in an unrelated forum thread, which got people calling him clinically paranoid.
My husband pointed out that Chris’ website giving his side of the campaign story is completely gone from the web, no caches or anything on the Wayback machine even, while the blog calling him a psychopath–with his real name and photograph–are still up. Given how potentially libelous such a blog post would be if it is false, why is it still up while Chris’ website is gone? Especially when Chris had threatened a libel lawsuit to the 2005 accusations of theft and conning (which are still on the Web as well)?
I also noted the similarities in his behaviors to those of Richard and Tracy:
1) Threatens a libel suit (for being accused in 2005 of running a con) even though nobody appears to have actually lied, and accuses a person (Sherry) of “false statements” while not bothering to explain them. Not explaining what is false is considered by the Popehat blog as a mark of a false legal threat:
Third, remember my mantra: vagueness in a legal demand is the hallmark of frivolous legal thuggery. Mr. Overstreet does not specify exactly what part of the Yelp review is false. Bogus legal threats rarely do. He intimates that Casey Movers is being criticized for following “federal moving procedures,” but does not explain. If you look at Ms. Buckley’s review, and his response, you’ll see that she complained of the amount her parents were offered for compensation of damages, and Mr. Overstreet’s response explaining insurance rates — but you won’t see anything Mr. Overstreet has called out as a specific false statement of fact.
3) Runs what appears to be a con.
I began to wonder a couple of things: Did Richard tell Chris about my blog? Did Chris suggest a libel suit? Did Richard (or Tracy, I couldn’t see the driver) not accidentally, but deliberately drive past me the second time, to match the intimidating behavior used by Chris to Wayne and Sherry?
In various places, I’ve read that the friends of narcissists are usually innocent dupes under the spell of the narcissist, sycophants, or people just like them. I always thought Chris was an innocent dupe like me, but now I fear he’s just as bad as Richard. That not only do they match each other in political kookery, but in sociopathic behavior as well.
After all, how well did I really know the guy? I never met him before Richard invited him to a party, and only saw him occasionally after that.
So my husband and I dodged a bullet when Chris unfriended us on Facebook.