Sunday, January 26, 2014

Is STGRB Out Of Control?

I keep saying that I am out of the fight, and for the most part, I am. But I can't help but wonder what the hell is going on in the mind of Athena Parker over at STGRB.

I thought the purpose of STGRB was to fight against the Goodreads / Amazon bullies and trolls? If so, how does attacking Ruck Carufel and myself fighting the bullies and trolls? We are not the ones on Goodreads and Amazon Forum Boards carpet bombing, writing fake and attack reviews. We are not members of the Bully Nation. So why are they seemingly focused on me and Rick?

This recent screenshot has gotten me concerned.

This vicious attack showing up on STGRB is no different than what Miranda Koryluk did to Rick Carufel on her Twitter account. (Which I covered here on The Glass.) How could someone, who professes professionalism, as Athena Parker does, allow this kind of thing to show up on STGRB? What is the point if the point is to go after and report on the activities of the bullies / trolls?

It is a question you will need to ask yourself and perhaps Athena Parker. 

This is also the kind of thing that shouldn't be going on. Especially on STGRB. Could it be that STGRB is now picking and choosing for themselves who the bullies and trolls are? Just because they don't like me anymore, or Rick Carufel? 

Even to this day, I would not allow anyone to come on here and make such comments against STGRB despite mine and Athena's "falling out". (Unless they were to do so using their online identity.) Even then, there is a limit of what I would allow. 

I think we all should turn to Rick Carufel and his plea of assistance that he left on his Facebook page, and try and do something to get STGRB to slow their roll, and refocus on the task at hand where the bullies and trolls are concerned. You know, the ones who are actually attacking authors. 

So in this next screenshot, I encourage you all to help support Rick Carufel stand up against this new apparent practice by STGRB and report them to their web host. Thanks. 


Why also, have they (STGRB) all of a sudden decided to jump on the Anne Rice bandwagon? Everyone knows that it was Mr. Carufel who first brought our attention to what Ms. Rice was doing on her Amazon thread(s). I also wrote a post regarding her involvement as well. Since then, STGRB has been riding Ms. Rice's coattails on the matter. Does this mean that they are now going to attempt to take credit for Anne Rice and her involvement to standing up to the bullies and trolls? And if so, will they crucify her too if they (STGRB / Athena Parker) and she (Anne Rice) have some kind of falling out in the future?

I guess we need only to stay tuned to find out. 

Meanwhile, wouldn't it be nice if STGRB could get back into the game of fighting bullies and trolls instead spending their time attacking victims of the bullies and trolls like Rick and I? I don't know about you, but I sure would like to see that. Then again, STGRB were the ones who declared some kind of victory over the bullies and trolls back around October / November of 2013, when obviously, there was no victory. The problem is still there over on Goodreads and has gotten worse on Booklikes and Leafmarks, or so, that's the information I have been receiving. It's obviously still happening on Amazon Forum Boards, otherwise, why would Anne Rice be getting involved, correct? 

I guess we could use that as food for thought. 

Come on STGRB, Athena, get it together! You're losing it. 

I'm Carroll Bryant .... and this is The Looking Glass

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Athena Parker Emails

I said I wasn't going to do this, and that I was done. And I am. However, a recent post on STGRB came to my attention and I decided to set the record straight. You all deserve at least that.

First, I want to focus on the post by STGRB. The same people who claim "To hold themselves to a higher standard". I suppose this post by them is how high their standards are. So be it. Take a look.

And now the comments on this post. 

You would think, first of all, that when I said I was out, they would respect that and drop it. But they didn't. 

Now, I am not going to go to war with them, but I will defend myself and as you all expect from me, to show the truth. Not sit here and mock like they are doing. 

I also want to stress that they did block my IP so now I can't see what they are saying. Well, not on my laptop, but I can still see their website from my desktop if I would so choose. Which I choose not to do. I can also see it from the library computers too. So why they blocked my laptop IP is a mystery. 

I also want to say that I clicked a link on a Facebook post yesterday, or the day before. It was a link to Melissa Douthit's blog. I have never ever been there before but guess what? My IP is blocked from there also. Coincidence? ... The link went to her post where she "finally" comes out publicly to deny that she and Athena are the same person. Yet, when Athena friended me on Facebook back when, a couple days later, Melissa did too. When Athena unfriended me on Facebook, a day or two later, Melissa did likewise. I can't ever recall Melissa and I ever talking. And this removal by her occurred prior to me writing anything about her and Athena possibly being the same person. But it appears to me that whatever Athena does, Melissa does as well. I find this odd. Just saying.

Anyhow, now let's take a look at the emails Athena and I exchanged with each other regarding this Lucy Flood situation and you decide if "Johnny" is correct in his statement that I threatened Athena in an email. We'll also see how that compares to her threatening me. I will reveal the emails and you can read them and you will be able to reach your own conclusions. Fair enough? Good! Let's begin. 

Now as you already know, I did a post focusing on an attack by the bullies on Lucy Flood. I posted an email exchange that Athena posted in the Facebook group that Rick Carufel actually started. I assumed that since I was covering attacks on other authors, and that Athena posted Lucy's email in the group, that I could use it for my post. Okay, I was wrong. More on that later. However, before I show you all Lucy's email to me and my responses, let me show you what Athena sent to me. 

As you can see, Athena is requesting that I take down the "email" portion of the post. This is exactly what Lucy herself asked me to - which we will get to later - and to this point, this is all I was requested to do. Now here is my response to Athena. 

At worst, I refer to Lucy as being a coward. Harsh? Perhaps. But certainly not the end of the world by any means. I was upset because I was trying to do some good. I also had seen some of the comments in the Facebook group and people were seemingly upset about what I had done. I hadn't responded - to my knowledge - to the group right away. I saw the emails from Athena and Lucy first before going to the group and seeing the outrage there. Next we will see Athena's response. 

So far, no big deal, right? I had already removed myself from the group. It wasn't the first time I had done it, but when you see a "lynch mob" starting to form, like I did back on Goodreads in the summer of 2012, you start to get the feeling of history somewhat repeating itself. Deciding to beat the crowd to the punch this time, I removed myself in hopes to calm the waters. However, that last line Athena wrote, "I see you removed yourself from the group. That's probably for the best.", indicated to me that my feeling was warranted. They were going to ban me from the group for making ONE mistake. 

Are we caught up now? Good. Let's proceed. 

This fact of knowing that I was already in line for the ban only infuriated me further than what I already was. Also notice at this point, I had already removed that email Lucy wrote to STGRB and at this point, should have been done and over with, right? Well, first let's look at my response to her. 

You see how she had said I made enemies with those I should be making friends with? How could I be trying to make enemies when I was trying to help? I made a mistake, I was asked to remove it and I did. But I saw the "lynch mob" forming in the group and took evasive action by leaving it. Everything to this point was pretty much over in my mind. I said my peace and did as I was requested. But that wasn't good enough I guess. I also sent an email predicting that the bullies would make a comeback in 2014. (This is what Athena references in her response) but I couldn't find that particular email. I may have inadvertently deleted it. Anyhow, here is Athena's response.

She accused me of storming off in a huff simply because I did as Lucy requested, and asked her not to email anymore, and blocking her from doing so in the process. Okay, fine, I stormed off in a huff. You're entitled to your opinion. The truth is, I was done with it. I made a mistake and I corrected it. In my mind, it should have been over right there. As for the apology and owning it, I returned to my blog and posted my apology there and owned it. I did not respond to that email of hers. I had dropped it by this point. But shortly afterwards, Athena sent me another one. Take a look. 

Now all of a sudden, removing the email from the post wasn't enough. Publicly apologizing wasn't enough. Owning it wasn't enough. Now I am being requested to remove any mention of Lucy sending an email to STGRB. However, if I remove that, then wouldn't I have to remove my public apology for posting the email she sent to STGRB? And wouldn't I have to delete me "owning it"? This is why I decided not to remove any mention of Lucy writing to STGRB in the first place. I had already done what Athena and Lucy requested, but now they are requesting more. Their requests continue to escalate with each thing I accommodate them with. Here is my response finally to Athena. I said to her that I would own it again, but when I went back to the post, I saw I already did. I figured she might not have caught it so I assured her that I did. 

Then I responded again. Confirming everything. 

Again, you can clearly see that I was still upset about everything. Mostly now because I knew that the group was calling for my head after I tried to do something good for Lucy and the cause. And all because I made one mistake in all of this time. I couldn't understand it. Which supported my already "then decision" to get out of the fight anyway. I had enough. Then Athena responds. 

And again she harps about the fact that I failed to delete any mention in regards to Lucy having written an email to STGRB. But by this point, I didn't care. I was done with it all. I was not going to go back and edit that post anymore. I had already done what they originally wanted and then some. But the requests continued. It didn't just stop there. You will also notice where she says, "It's probably best if you just remove the post altogether or make her anonymous, not using her name." Then she proceeds with the blackmail portion of her email when she goes on to say, "Otherwise, I think she is going to write a post about how you betrayed her confidence and then sent her a nasty email, insulting her." And she concludes that paragraph by questioning my "behavior". 

First, how about her behavior in regards to not only continue to keep requesting new things with each passing email, but to suggest that if I do not comply that Lucy is going to write a post about me betraying her? How is that not blackmail again? 

The truth is, betrayal is when you promise someone something then you break that promise. I never promised anyone anything. I made a mistake. Had I promised her in the beginning that I wouldn't post that email and then posted it, then that would be more to the definition of betrayal. The simple fact is, I merely made a mistake. 

By now, the post had already been up long enough for people to take screenshots. Taking it down wouldn't have solved anything. I was still being trashed by the people I tried to help in that Facebook group simply for making that one mistake, and I have now just been blackmailed to take down my post or else! Not to mention, I wasn't sure if Lucy was really going to do that or if this was just Athena's way of trying to get me to do her bidding. But at this point, she (and Lucy?) continued to press the issue and up the demands. In my opinion, I had done everything I could or wanted to do. And after the blackmail attempt, my attitude got a little more irate. My defiance was at a hundred percent by now. Check out my response.

As you can see, I didn't succumb to the blackmail. I simply decided that if she (Lucy) was going to write a post as Athena stated, then I was just simply going to post that email back up. And how did Athena react to this? Check it out for yourself. 

Yes, the "threat" was backed off. Lucy just decided to "drop" the whole thing. (Or did Athena decide to just drop the whole thing?) I guess we'll never know. Then she rambles on about how she had to defy the odds and all the people she tried to help. It appears maybe she made some mistakes before too, but she pushed through. (The warrior that she is)

Then she brings it up again that I should have gotten Lucy's permission first before posting that email. Yes, I get it. I owned it. I made a mistake. Move on. Geesh. 

But at the end of the first shot of her response, she says I "cursed" Lucy out? Okay, keep that in the back of your mind because we will soon see this so called "cursing" I gave to Lucy. Meanwhile, let's see my response to Athena, shall we?

I finalized it with, "This conversation has run its course for me." And at this point, it had run its course with me. I was done with it. But alas, Athena was not. 

First of all, why would Athena care about how the trolls are spinning this? Didn't she just give me the big speech about how she took abuse from both sides and how she pushed through it all to be the hero? So why bother now about what the trolls are saying? Who cares? Everyone knows how they spin things. Sometimes they make stuff up and spin that too. 

But I also see where she is trying to get me to unblock Lucy from my email and send her one to "personally" apologize to her. I thought my public apology was good enough. They (Athena nor Lucy) specifically asked me to apologize personally, in fact, Lucy never asked that of me at all, only Athena requested it. And when she did, she didn't state for it to be personally, only that I apologized, which I did publicly on the post itself. Again, making new demands as we go along here. And this after I said this conversation had run its course for me. Where is the respect that should have been shown for that? 

She then says the whole thing doesn't affect her either way, but apparently, it does. She sure did take it upon herself for the first time I can ever think back to get involved like this with me and someone else. I'm still trying to figure out why she thought she needed to get involved in the first place. But wait! There's more. I did not respond again to that email so what does she do? She sends another. 

I'm "hot-headed"? You think? Gee, I wonder why? She then brings up the message I sent to Adam Archer Ping on Goodreads the day of my attack when after he posted a comment on my GR blog post mentioning that I should "go kill myself", I went off on his punk ass. Later, he says what he posted was an email that I allegedly sent to Jude Henderson. Apparently, by my reaction, I didn't recognize it. I thought he was threatening me. So I messaged him on GR and told him flat out, why hope for me to go kill myself? Why don't he come and do it for me if he was bad ass enough? In other words, I was calling him out, and like the true punk that he is, he cowards up and flags the message from his inbox. 

A real tough guy, isn't he?

But this is the very same thing that "Johnny" from STGRB mentions in the comment above, correct? And while Athena and "Johnny" both bring it up, they then try to somehow defend it by explaining the tension I was under from the massive attack I was receiving. My question is, why bring it up at all if you're just gonna half ass defend it at the same time? I don't get it. What's the point? ... Oh yeah, now I understand the point, to try and somehow "belittle" me? The same manner of posting that post in the first place on STGRB? ... Did I do this to them? Did I try to "mock" them in some way? The last time I checked my posts, I was trying to explain what happened and share my thoughts about Athena, Melissa and STGRB. I didn't try and humiliate them by mocking them and posting pics or gifs like the ..... like the ..... OMG! Like the bullies do? 

Then for "Johnny" to accuse me publicly of "threatening" Athena, and claiming that I was never "blackmailed" by her or anyone, which we already seen I was, and him not posting the evidence to support his claim - is this "rising" above the pettiness? Is this STGRB being "better than that"? I mean, what other purpose for their post if not to try and humiliate me (and Rick Carufel) and lie about me in the process? To this point, have you seen me threaten Athena? 

And FYI - I mostly don't lose my temper until I am pushed. Unless you catch me already in a bad mood - which isn't very often. But I did finally respond to her, after she continued to email me after I proclaimed that this conversation had run its course. (I was being pushed?) 

Ooops, I guess "Johnny" was right. I did end up blackmailing her in return. Only I was asking that this "in house" bickering to stop. I had seen enough when she took to STGRB to have a blog war with Rick Carufel. Something I thought STGRB was better than that and to do such a thing. I can't recall them ever going to a blog war with any of the bullies. Not even "The BBA Whsiperer" or "Genxpose". Yet they did do this with Rick Carufel and now, they appear ready to be doing it with me? Funny, for such a "professional" website, I would think that sort of thing would be "below" their standards of operation. I don't see Salon doing it. Or "The USA Today" website. 

And let's face it "Johnny", my blackmail, or "threat" as you call it, was no more worse than the one Athena laid on me. I was calling for unity among those who were supposed to be on "my side". I simply stated that I was going to expose this to the bullies if we didn't stop the adolescent arguing and stop punishing each other for making mistakes. We were supposed to be on the same team! 

The people who read "The Glass" expect only two things from me. First, they expect the truth and or my opinion. Second, they expect me to admit when I get the truth wrong. The fact that there was obvious bickering among the "good guys" was wearing on my last nerve. I wanted it to stop. But apparently, Athena nor STGRB wants it to stop. Maybe not even the people on the Facebook group wants it to stop, evidently.  I was simply going to admit the truth to my readers about what was really going on. However, I offered Athena a chance to call for unity and what did she do instead? Well, let's see what she did, shall we? 

Yes, that's right, she wasted no time what so ever going to Facebook to remove me as a friend. Nor did Melissa soon there after. She took down everything Carroll Bryant on STGRB. Blocked my IP (as did Melissa) In essence, my "threat" wasn't nearly as bad as her threat against me, "Johnny". Yet she was the one who took to acting like some spoiled little brat who didn't get her way after I made one simple mistake. Seems to me she was the one who went off in a huff. I guess it's okay for her to blackmail me but no one else can return the favor? (If you really want to call my blackmail a blackmail or a threat) I mean, it seems to me that if anyone should have started the "temper tantrum" for being blackmailed or "threatened", it should have been me. But it wasn't, was it? 

I was still calling for a show of unity. 

And as for those emails with Lucy Flood? There was only two. Here is the first one she sent me. 

And how did I respond?

That's me "cursing" at Lucy as per "Johnny's" version.

Lucy sent another email. Unfortunately, when I blocked her, the system must have deleted it because I can't find it. However, she basically thanked me and mentioned something about her and I being on the same team. That's pretty much about it. And did I respond to it anyway? Well, maybe this one has all the cussing it in because I only sent Lucy two emails. Let's check it out, "Johnny".

You see "Johnny", I think you opened your big mouth on this one too soon. I fail to see any cursing in the only two emails I sent to Lucy. It was after this one when I banned her from emailing me in response because I knew she was going to disrespect my wishes. I beat her to the punch. Chalk it down to experience.

And again, where are all the insults? I don't get it, Athena, and "Johnny". The way you portrayed me in your post and comments, one would think I reached through the computer screen and smacked the bejeezus out of her or something. Or was that portrayal planned? 

It would seem to me that STGRB, Athena, Melissa, and "Johnny" have some kind of agenda here. But as you can plainly see, I am not hiding from anything. I am not trying to allude to anything, just posting the facts. The truth. That's my only agenda here. The truth. I don't need to post pics and or gifs to mock anyone. I am above that. (I like to think) But evidently, STGRB is not. It seems to me that they have something to hide. One thing is for sure, I think we can see how "Johnny" lies to try and make a point. And if "Johnny" and STGRB is willing to lie about me, and the way I treated poor Lucy Flood, and my horrible "threat" to Athena after her attempted blackmail to me, then what else have they lied about? 

It's something to consider, yes?

I'm not going to try and explain my words in a private email to Athena that was meant for her eyes only. To which she has been sending those emails to others behind my back like a true classy lady would. And I am not going to say I am perfect. I get mad and angry and upset like everyone else from time to time. I offer no excuses for it. I'll own it. I'm human after all. But you didn't see me run off in a fit of rage deleting everything Athena and STGRB, did you? Oh no, that is their way of "rising" above it all. And I am not the one who tried to comically humiliate anyone with a pic or a gif, was I? Oh no, that is for the bullies to do and apparently, STGRB - rising above it all again. And I am not the one who takes to my blog to lie about people, am I, "Johnny"? Oh no, that is for the "professional" people over at STGRB to do. 

You called me out, "Johnny", and look, here I am. Got anymore lies you want to spill without evidence? As you can now plainly see, I have nothing to hide nor anything to be ashamed of. If I am going to say anything to you, about you, I'll do it to your damn fake face boy.

You're nothing but a punk, "Johnny", nothing but a punk. The good news is, now everyone else can see it for themselves too. 

But there you have it everyone, the whole story surrounding Lucky Flood, Carroll Bryant, Athena Parker, STGRB, and good ole honest Abe himself, "Johnny B. Good".

What's in your agenda?

I'm Carroll Bryant .... and now you know the whole story. 



Monday, January 13, 2014

The Looking Glass Last Post: Auld Lang Syne

It's a sad day in the world when you realize that what you were fighting for, a cause that you believed in, and the people you were trying to help all turn on you.

Everything I thought I knew, turns out I don't know Jack shit.

I want to go on record that I really was fighting for something I believed in. I was honestly trying to do some good. I really was. I felt in my heart that I was doing the right thing. But in light of recent events, when Athena Parker and STGRB turned on me, and then she going behind my back and sending trusted emails to people to try and get others to hate me? I realized something .... I realized that Athena Parker and STGRB were fakes. 

I also realized that we're all bullies. I mean, if you're not fighting for a good cause, then you're bullying. I also realized this morning that for the majority of people involved with this are really just a lot of people with nothing but time on their hands. How I got suckered into this madness, I will never know. But one thing is for sure, there is no cause anymore to fight for. Everybody seems to be in it for their own reason and that reason isn't a noble one, but a self serving one. 

If I have learned anything this past year with The Looking Glass, it's that anyone you trust on the internet, is anyone who will have a hidden agenda and is anyone not to be trusted. 

The way Athena, WIN, and STGRB and other people have turned tells me that they were not the people I thought them to be. And this cause never did exist. 

I don't know if Melissa Douthit and Athena Parker are the same person, and to tell you the truth, I don't care. As long as she was fighting for a good cause, that was all that mattered. But if they are the same person, then that would mean she wasn't fighting for a noble cause, she was fighting for her own agenda. And that would be sad. More than that, it would be pathetic. 

The bullies? Well, they are pathetic. We already know that. But at least they are honest about who and what they are and what they stand for. But all of this hiding behind socks and shit, it's ten year old stuff. It's childish, and so very adolescent. 

We're all a bunch of nuts with way too much time on our hands and we all belong to the same asylum. Myself included. 

Today, I am finally going to leave the asylum, and I am taking The Glass with me. I am pulling out of the fight because I realized something these past days and that there is no fight anymore. And that is the truth people. This whole thing now rings more like a complete and total sham. All of it. 

This whole thing is nothing more than to give those who have nothing better to do - something to do with their lives because their life is empty. 

Take whatever they say with a grain of salt. After all, it's just the internet. But more importantly, take it at face value. 

The Looking Glass will be one year old come February 1st of 2013. For my one year anniversary, I will be shutting down The Glass. I will delete it. 

So take your screenshots now, and go to your pathetic little blogs and website and groups and all that shit and run with it. Celebrate it, cry, whatever. I don't care. It doesn't matter anymore. Because quite frankly, none of you matter anymore because none of you care about doing what is good and right, you all have your own little agenda's. Every last one of you. You are all selfish and hateful. You all have too much time on your hands. You all need some fucking help. You're all mental. 

The only cure for it is to get up and go out and get a life. This is what I am doing. So if you want to keep writing your filth, and turning on each other, and back stabbing one another, and bullying one another, and playing these kindergarten games on the internet, then go ahead. I feel nothing but pity for you. 

I got pulled in, but I am pulling myself out. 

I am also going to give Anne Rice some very good advice. Stay out of it. There is no cause. Don't do it. Don't let these whack jobs from both sides pull you into their madness like they pulled me in. Forget everything I ever said to you Ms. Rice, it's not worth it. There is no cause. There's just a bunch of people who have nothing better to do. I know your heart might be in the right place, Ms. Rice, but all of these people, the so called good and the bad, they have no cause outside of their own personal agenda. They are all just bitter people with hate and deceit in their hearts and if you get sucked in by any of them, they will beat you the fuck down. All of them! They will drain the life force from your soul. They are all mentally ill individuals who live for only one thing ..... to get online and rip someone a new asshole. And when their choices begin to dwindle, they will turn on you to and rip you a new one. Just because they can. Just because they have a computer. Just because they all have hate in their hearts. The bad ones, the good ones, trust me Ms. Rice, on the internet, you can't tell them apart. So no, don't get involved and and don't try to help them, they don't want it. All they want from both sides is just to fight with each other. That's it. 

So save yourself Anne Rice, do what I am going to finally do and run, run for your very life. Run hard. Run fast. Do not look back. Just run. 

To Athena, STGRB, WIN, and to all the rest of you, good ones and bad, seek help. Seriously, seek some fucking help. 

As for my current friendships with anyone, as long as you never mention this garbage to me anymore after The Glass has been deleted, we can still be friends if you want. But if you ever mention any of this again to me on any level after Feb. 1st, I will delete our friendship. No one is excluded from it. When The Glass comes down, I will be officially done with it. And the biggest reason of all is because, I don't trust any of you anymore. Period! 

So we will either have a nice normal internet friendship that has nothing to do with some fake cause or we will have no relationship. That's the way it's going to be. I will never mention The Glass ever again after Feb 1st and I will not be friends with anyone who mentions it either. Or STGRB or anything that has to do with fake garbage and the fake people from both sides. 

Fighting this fight has brought out the best in me and the worst. But in the end, it was the worst of other people that led me to realize that all of this was a sham. Shame on every single one of you. More than that, shame on me for every having trusted people who simply can't be trusted while hiding behind fake names. 

To those who may have felt like I and that really and truly believed there was a good cause to fight for, I advise you to get out ASAP as well. Just cut the cord. Take your losses and walk away from the crazy table. 

So you all have fun filling the lonely hours of your day with all this hate, fighting, scheming, back-stabbing, and ultimately, a colossal waste of time all you like. Do it to your hearts content. because in the end .... that's all it really is. It's all it ever was and all it ever will be. I'm just glad that I finally saw it for what it really is. I guess that is something I can thank Athena Parker for. She has shown me who and what she really is .... and that is .... that she is nothing but a fake. And if she is a fake, then so is STGRB. Then so is all of it.

I just hope that all of you will allow peace and love back into your hearts again someday. It would be tragic if it never existed inside of you at some point. Even more tragic if you never let it back in.


I've already been hit with some emails all asking the same question, basically, so I will answer that question here. Do I believe that Melissa and Athena are the same person? .... The answer? .... Yes, I do. Take it for what it's worth. 

I'm Carroll Bryant .... and this was The Looking Glass. 

Let the countdown begin. 

Did STGRB Sell Out?

Ever since my last post, I have been swamped with emails concerning something that I said in that post. (The Blackmail of Carroll Bryant)

In that post, I mentioned that I had considered the possibility that STGRB, and Goodreads, may have negotiated some kind of truce, or arrangement.

Most of the inquiries were in regards to what exactly are the things that have raised my suspicion. Instead of attempting to answer all the emails, I thought it best to just list those reasons right here.

Now, I want to go ahead and say that I have no absolute proof that any such deal or arrangement has been made. I'm not accusing STGRB of anything of the sort, but I am looking at the facts, and only the facts, and nothing else.

This is not my opinion, or speculation. What you will be seeing are facts as we all know about STGRB and their position in regards of Goodreads in the past.

While I will present these facts to you, I truly believe that by the end of this post, you too will come away with the same questions that I have been trying to answer myself ever since STGRB started supporting Goodreads and their new ToS policy.

Are you ready? Then let's begin. 

Let's start by looking back at the inception of STGRB. What has it been now? A year and a half? And ever since they came onto the scene, what have they been drilling into our heads? The answer? That Goodreads is corrupted. That Goodreads condones, endorses and even encourages attacks on authors. That they (GR) allow this abuse to take place, and that they ban authors for standing up for themselves. Now I ask you, is this or is this not a known fact? 

Also during this time, who have they been placing blame on for allowing this to happen? The answer? Otis Chandler and Patrick Brown. Is this or is it not a known fact? 

Also during this time, how much faith or confidence has STGRB ever shown towards GR, Otis Chandler, and Patrick Brown? When it came to trusting them at their word, and on a scale of zero percent to one hundred percent, where would you say that confidence stood? The answer? Zero percent. STGRB has always shown absolutely no confidence in any of those guys to address the bullying issue. Is this or is this not a known fact?

Remember, put your feelings aside and look at this for nothing but the facts. 

Now, let me ask you all this. Back in August of 2012, when GR announced changes in their ToS, what was the response of STGRB? The answer? They were skeptical, correct? They were saying the same thing as you and I in that, "Seeing is believing". And - "I wouldn't trust them to live up to enforcing their new ToS for as far as we could throw them". And other words to that effect. The truth is, they had zero confidence or faith in GR, Otis Chandler, or Patrick Brown ever doing anything to enforce their ToS. Is this or is it not a known fact?

Since we know that this is a known fact, then will somebody, anybody, please tell me why that when Goodreads recently announced their "new policy" in dealing with the bully problem, did all of a sudden STGRB's immediate response was that of confidence? They were behind it one hundred percent right from the get go. There was no questioning whatsoever. They appeared to have absolutely no doubt that Goodreads was going to finally address the problem. But why? What's so different this time around as opposed to their ToS change in August of 2012 when they were so skeptical? I don't get it. 

It wasn't like Goodreads had done anything prior to this announcement that would indicate that they were serious about it this time. Yet, STGRB didn't question a single thing. They were supportive right from the start, no questions asked. 

Am I the only one wondering about this?

And what changed for STGRB (in their mind) that had allowed them to go from condemning GR at every turn to now, suddenly praising them and their efforts? When for the past year and half, STGRB did nothing but tell us that GR could not be trusted. 

It wasn't like there was any lead up to this new change on behalf of STGRB. It appeared to happen overnight. One minute, they said that authors should stay away from Goodreads, and the next, they are talking about how great everything is starting to be? 

I mean, seriously, what exactly has Goodreads really done? They announced their "new policy" and STGRB was all for it. Like I said, no being skeptical this time around. They just suddenly took them for their word when the last time they made such an announcement, they told us not to buy into it? 

Then GR started deleting some, not all, of the nasty shelves. Now, if you wanted to start believing them at their word, this would have been the time to maybe, just maybe start to think that GR was serious this time. But even then, I don't think it would have been a good reason to go from zero percent faith to one hundred percent faith in GR, much less, to go from zero to a hundred simply over their announcement of the "new policy". (Which STGRB did)

Is this making sense so far?

Then what happened? GR banned a bully here, a bully there? Okay, fine, but ... if the whole idea was to ban the bullies, why didn't GR just go ahead and start banning them from the start? It's not like they don't know who the bullies are. And if by chance they really didn't know, all they had to do was go to STGRB's bully list and go from there. Why not just ban the bullies in one big swoop? It's not like GR owes them any explanation. Hell, in their ToS they say that they can ban anyone they want for any or no reason. They certainly never had a problem in the past banning authors who were attacked without any notice, so why give the bullies any notice? 

Catching my drift here?

So what gives? Where is the transition period for STGRB that would explain their sudden change of heart where GR is concerned? I mean, let's face it, if you were reading a book where in the first ten chapters the main character was a pessimist, then suddenly in chapter eleven he became an optimist, and the author failed to explain this transition, wouldn't you feel a little cheated? Wouldn't you start asking, "What the hell, man? Why did the main character change?" So maybe you read the rest of the book in hopes the author left the reason somewhere in the back end of the story. If not, when you went to give your review, what are you going to say? You would say, "The character changed and no reason was ever given. I don't buy it. This story sucks." - That's what you would say. So why aren't you asking this question about STGRB? They did the same exact thing only, not in a book, but in real life. 

You're going to buy into it now?

And yet, every so often, GR does a little something to inspire hope by banning another bully. And STGRB is right there, praising their efforts. Still not the least bit skeptical. 

Then there is the matter of GR's recent change. This hiding book shelves thing. A year ago, or maybe even six months ago, STGRB would have been all over it saying, "They didn't delete anything, they just covered it up." - But now, they make a post about it and praise this cover up by Goodreads. And let's be honest here, STGRB has in the past criticized GR for sometimes covering things up. I know, I read some posts where they did come out and tell us that whatever it was that GR did wasn't solving the problem, but only covering it up. STGRB from a year ago would have been all over this and calling it for what it really is, a cover up and nothing more. But now, they praise GR for covering up a problem instead of just deleting the problem? 

I'm sorry, I'm not buying it. This isn't the STGRB I have followed for the past year and a half. 

It's like all of a sudden, and from out of the blue, STGRB is now calling GR a hero or something. praising them for the little things they are doing. And just enough, I might add, to keep us all entertained and preoccupied. 

"But Carroll, the bullies are pissed off at GR. Obviously, that would indicate that GR is finally taking a real stand."

Okay, let's look at that rationally for a moment. What do we know about the bullies? A lot of things, of course, however, we also know that where the bullies are concerned, they get pissed over the littlest of things. Hell, they get pissed over nothing. They are always taking the smallest thing and making it a big theatrical production. Am I right? Of course I am. So obviously, when GR made their big announcement about the "new policy", they said they were going to place an emphasis on the way book shelves were worded, did they not? So why are you the least bit surprised that the bullies would go ape shit over such an announcement? And to delete just one, much less a few, of their shelves, you know that's going to send them all into a frenzy. The same way they do it when they attack an author. Am I right? Of course I am. 

And honestly, when you saw them react that way, didn't it give you a major thrill? Of course it did. It was "payback" time. It was great to see them squirm for once. And it was just what would have been expected too by GR to take our attention away long enough that we wouldn't question their motives, or why STGRB suddenly came out of nowhere to support Goodreads. 

If there was any kind of deal made, I'm pretty sure this would have been taken into account. 

Combine that, and our reaction to seeing some of the worst bullies being banned, one by one, and somewhat at a slow, but consistent pace, and again, why would we question GR? Why would we question STGRB? We're so busy being all excited to see the bullies get handed to them what us authors had been getting handed to us for so long that we never even thought to suspect that maybe we were being duped. 

But think about it. STGRB came onto the scene and made a huge splash. They were featured on several major websites, and got a lot of attention early. Goodreads was corrupted beyond belief and STGRB was determined to get the word out. Because of all this attention, they started to gain some major credibility. I'm pretty sure that GR didn't see them as any vital threat. But yet, GR still paid a little attention to them. You know, keeping an eye on them. I mean, you get onto USA today and obviously, you're making a little bit of noise. 

But GR really doesn't want any attention where this author bullying is concerned. That is bad attention for them. It paints them in a negative light. But as time goes along, STGRB gains more and more momentum. Their posts are very damaging to GR. Pretty soon, GR has to start taking them seriously. Now, just with anything else in life, be it politics, business, religion, when a power house like GR starts to see their image being tarnished by this unsuspecting, up and coming entity, sooner or later, you're going to have to try and discredit them. The bullies suck at doing that. Eventually, that little up and comer becomes somewhat of a force to be reckoned with, and all efforts to get rid of them has failed. Now what do you do? 

Well, you do what powerful people do when they realize later that they under-estimated someone or some thing, you take a new approach. Instead of trying to continually fight them, you go to them in hopes of striking a deal. A deal that allows an escape clause for everyone to come out of it looking, and feeling pretty good. You make a deal. GR tells them that they are going to institute a "new policy", and that they will start to address the issue enough to satisfy the masses. In exchange, STGRB supports this "new policy" right from the start, and gets everyone excited about it. They promise STGRB that some bullies will be banned. Some book shelves will be deleted. But with every little crumb they spit out, STGRB must be there to rally the troops. 

Gradually, these changes, and these bans will stop. Maybe after like six months, and Goodreads comes away looking like a big hero. They get their reputation back. Meanwhile, STGRB comes away looking like a hero, having finally gotten GR to clean up their act. GR is happy, STGRB is happy, and all of us are happy because we got to see a few changes, a few book shelves disappear, and some bullies getting the boot. Just enough little things that will finally put an end to this cause. 

Can you honestly say that this couldn't be a possibility? 

Everybody wins, and everybody is happy. Well, except for maybe a handful of bullies who might have gotten the boot, but hey, after a while, those bullies return perhaps under another name and now, even they are happy too.

Life is sweet again. 

Well, I'm not buying it!

Obviously, if such a deal had occurred, there would still be another small matter of concern for GR. What about Carroll Bryant? 

Let's face it, Patrick Brown hates my guts. He would like nothing more than to see me fade away into the night. The problem would be, what if I didn't buy into this change? Even so, let's just be down right honest here, STGRB made me. They have given me such credibility by supporting me for all this time. If I didn't buy into it, this change, there still runs a risk that those who followed STGRB, would probably now start turning their sights onto me when STGRB gradually stops posting. There has to be something in place to deal with me. And again, let's fall back onto the facts here, who has been the most covered person on STGRB? The answer? Carroll Bryant. 

STGRB and myself have been associated for so long, even the bullies think I have something to do with it in some official capacity. Maybe not now, but that has been the consensus for the past year and a half. Right? 

But again, what about Carroll Bryant? STGRB made me, and gave me my cred, so who should it be to unmake me and destroy that cred? The answer? STGRB. 

But it's not like they could just suddenly denounce me for no apparent reason, that would be too suspicious. Oh no, they (STGRB) would have to sit and wait, buy their time until I made a mistake of some kind that would justify STGRB to delete me and The Looking Glass from their blog, and in the process, take away support for me and take away my cred. 

That has now happened. 

I made one mistake after all of this time after being the STGRB sidekick, and now, they saw their opportunity to make that move. 

So let's recap, shall we?

For a year and a half Goodreads was the enemy. During this time, STGRB and I have been somewhat partnered, or connected and they had been supporting me at every turn. Now, this "new policy" by GR comes along and suddenly, from out of the blue, STGRB is singing the praises of Goodreads, and now, from out of that same blue, STGRB is denouncing me. 

Coincidence? I don't think so. 

STGRB will no doubt probably be trashing me soon, if they haven't started by the time this is posted, or then again, maybe they just won't say a thing, and allow me to simply fade into the night. They now have their reasons for cutting ties with me over one single incident after a year and a half of placing me on a pedestal. After a year and a half of supporting me, just like that, the support has been pulled. And all because of one single mistake?

How can you go from endorsing someone for so long and go through all the battles with someone that STGRB and myself have went through together and then in one big bang, over one tiny mistake or incident, just stop the endorsement? Especially when I haven't stopped endorsing them? 

There's just too many questions. Too many suspicious going on. Too many coincidences for this to just be random events. People don't change like that on a dime like STGRB has, and there not to be some kind of rational explanation. Too many questions, and not a single answer or explanation to rationalize it. 

Now I ask you, is there any reason for anyone not to become just a little suspicious? 

You couldn't make this stuff up. 

Something odd is going on here. Enough to start asking ourselves if indeed, did STGRB and Goodreads get together at some point and time, and negotiate some kind of truce? Did STGRB sell us out for a resolution? Was there some kind of compromise behind the scenes? 

The people of STGRB have already gone on record to say they didn't want to fight this fight forever. Neither did I. But is what GR is doing really major changes, or is it just cosmetic as myself and Rick Carufel believe? I guess all one has to do is stand back and look at these so called changes that GR is doing and see if it really is impacting anything? There's still some attacks taking place, albeit, small time attacks. Things did get better a little, but is it really enough? 

If there is real changes taking place though on Goodreads, and if STGRB really did make a deal, why wouldn't they just come out and say so? Well, maybe because it would be perceived as them selling out. I don't know. But when you see how this clean up is going, and how all of a sudden STGRB started supporting it, and singing the GR praises, then removing me from their website, it all starts to look suspicious. 

It wasn't too long ago when STGRB recommended to authors NOT to join GR due to the toxic environment - I wonder now what they would say if you were to ask them. Maybe you should. I think their answer would be interesting to say the least. And while you're asking them that, maybe you could ask them this, what changed from August 2012 to now? Why be so skeptical then with GR's "new policy" to being so assured this time around in regards to their "new policy"? What changed? As we can see for ourselves, they sure jumped on the Goodreads bandwagon real quick there, didn't they? 

Just saying. 

I'm Carroll Bryant .... and this is The Looking Glass.


A Lemony Snicket Quote

Just think Goodreads bullies on this one.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Athena Parker: Face Value

You know, it's a good thing that I am such a straight shooter. It also pays to think ahead. Knowing how to catch a mouse pays off as well. Mice are so easy to catch though. You set your trap, place little bit of cheese on it, then step away, making sure you turn off the lights of course. Then you just sit back and wai ...... *snap* ..... oh crap, did I just catch a mouse?

I don't know, let's take a look and find out together, shall we?

The screenshot you just read was an email from one Athena Parker, and it was sent to one Rick Carufel, who was kind enough to show me. It's an email I sent her back in early November of 2013.

Ahem, Athena dear, if you're going to attack me at least have the decency to do so to my face. Don't you have a website you can utilize for such purposes? 

Unfortunately Athena, you're a day late and a dollar short. Your feeble attempt of trying to stir up trouble has failed, I'm sorry to say. (Or maybe I'm not sorry? Tell you what, I'll look into that and get back with you on it later, okay?)

Meanwhile, back on the ranch ....

You see, I have already made a mention of it in my last post. Had you read it, you would have seen it. What? You don't believe me? Okay, allow me to post a screenshot of it.

Aha! I did mention it. Told you so. 

And yes, you know as well as I Athena that we were both a little concerned about Rick when he went through that "phase" of his. I was very much concerned on many levels. First, I thought my friend had lost it. Second, I feared he may have left to the other side. And had he done so, and I found proof of it, I had every intention of outing him on it. The cause would have left me no choice. Not to mention, my readers expect me to tell the truth. If I falter in that, then they expect me to "own it", and I try to not let them down. You see, honesty is what matters the most in the end. Speaking of which ....

There was a slew of strange socks popping up all over the place and the consensus in the WIN group at that time was, that it might be Rick. 

And yes, I wanted to find out if it was .... or .... if it wasn't. 

But instead of just jumping the gun, and "assuming" that it was Rick, like many of those in the group were quick to point the finger at, I wanted to go stealth, as it were, to try and find the answer. I mean, let's face it, it's one thing to accuse someone of something, and a whole other thing to actually have proof of it. Am I right? 

Since I am not one to knowingly and falsely accuse people of things, I went out in search of the truth for myself. And I searched .... and I searched .... I poked .... I prodded ... time was my only ally .... and I searched some more. 

Conclusion? .... I found nothing. Zero. Nada. Zilch. So maybe my investigative skills suck, that or there just wasn't anything there for me to find. I don't know. 

Anyhow, all I know is, I came up with nothing. 

Now for the mouse trap.

The best way to find out who you can trust is to give them ammunition for their gun, and see how long it takes for them to use it against you. I can see by the evidence presented before me, it didn't take you long at all Miss Parker. (Any kin to Bonnie? No? Okay then. Are you sure? ... Okay then.)

Hey Athena, why did you think I made a mention of it in my post? You know, without divulging any deep rooted details? Didn't you think I was aware of that email I sent you? Didn't you ever stop to consider that there may have been an ulterior motive for it? Perhaps you should have. 

Besides being concerned for my friends "mental" well being, and me wanting to know the truth in regards to these mysterious sock puppets, and his possible defection to the other side, I also had suspicions of you sweetheart. (But that's another post for another day .... if need persists.)

In a world where it appears that everyone has a hidden agenda, except for me, it's just my nature not to trust anyone. Unfortunately, I trusted you. It's not often someone can get the better of me, but you certainly gave it a good shot, didn't you?

When you suddenly announced this raw-raw spirit towards Goodreads, that was so uncharacteristic of STGRB that I held some reservations about it. Seriously though, when Goodreads announced a ToS "upgrade" back in August of 2012, wasn't you and STGRB who led the charge of suspicion? Let's face it dear, you doubted them more than all of us put together. And with good reason, because GR could not be trusted. What was that you and the rest of us were saying? Oh yeah, now I remember, "Seeing is believing" when it comes to Goodreads and their ToS. Am I right? 

Of course I am. 

So call me crazy when, back around that time, you and STGRB were instantly on-board with Goodreads "new policy" in 2013. 

Not one shred of doubt, or anything. Your faith meter in GR went from zero to 100 percent in a snap. So my first thought was, "Why the change of character here?" - Let's just admit that it didn't add up. This is why I had some back thought suspicions of you. 

People warned me about you. They said you would turn, and not just from the bullies either. They said you would go behind my back and do something like this if I ever really pissed you off. Is it fair now for me to say that those people were correct? And even more fair to assume that I have really pissed you off?

Hey, sorry I'm a free thinker, and not a minion. 

Hey again, if it's an email war you wish to partake in, just let me know. I wouldn't have any problem going into mine and pulling up ALL of our email correspondence from start to finish, take snapshots, and then post them here on The Glass. 

Let's consider the benefits of me doing this, first, it would save you some time from having to sort through yours to find that perfect email from me to send to send to that very someone special, in an attempt to .... to .... to accomplish whatever it is you wish to accomplish by doing so. Also, by doing what I suggested, I might be able to save you from yourself, and your inner desire to back stab. 

I don't know .... what do you think?

I knew that by carefully placing that little tidbit on my post that you would catch it, and it would give you some clever ideas. (Ha! You did read my my post. Good for you.)

So, what about it Athena? Should I go ahead and start posting every last one of our email correspondence? Or have you gotten it out of your system? 

What to do? .... What to do?

Oh crap! I hear the twiddle of tiny little feet again. Time to catch me another mouse. 

But seriously Athena, is this how it's gonna be? 


Next time, just attack me to my face ... please? 

I'm Carroll Bryant ... and this is ... *snap* ... Hey, I caught another mouse.


 P.S. - I wonder, how many more people have you did this to? And how many others have you sent my emails to? What are you, another Jude Henderson? Are you and WIN planning to attack me too like the bullies did? Are you all working up a clever little scheme right now? 

Just because you now think of me as an enemy, is this how you're playing it? So can I safely assume that if anyone else pisses you off, this is how you will get your revenge? Imagine all the secrets of other people you hold in your inbox. Let's just hope for their sake, they don't piss you off either. Because if you can get mad at me for basically nothing, then imagine your wrath when you wake up one day and decide, "It's your turn" with someone else. 

Of course, that would only come after trying to blackmail them, right?

How did Batman turn into "Two Face" so quickly?

Maybe I'm the real Batman? O_o

Hold onto your seats folks, this might be a bumpy ride.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Blackmail Of Carroll Bryant

Human nature is nothing if not predictable. There is a desire within the human DNA that exists, and is always eager to be released. A desire for structure. Nothing releases this built in system of structure more so than when people get together to form their group. Or clan. Or gang. It starts out basically the same way, and it functions the same way regardless of what kind of group it is that is being formed. The common denominators are equal no matter if that group is formed in real life, or even the internet. There's a natural operation that occurs within that human DNA that just can't be denied.

First, someone creates the group. Then people start to join. The group itself is an attempt to bring together those of like mind. That "like" can be anything. In this case, the like minded people for the group are a bunch of authors who were suppose to be fighting for the same cause. That cause? Fighting cyber bullying of authors.

I've always been skeptical of groups because I understand fully that DNA curse that exists inside of man. It's comparable to political systems and structures.

Once that group is formed, and members start to accumulate, there is always that first initial objective for what the group is supposed to be about. But we all know that objective always changes later, once the group is assembled and everyone contributes their input of what the functionality of the group should really be. For this particular group of which I am speaking of, it was supposed to be a gathering place for authors who were attacked by the bullies on Goodreads and Amazon forums. It was supposed to be a group for those who wished to seek refuge from the bullies, and a place where authors of attacks could share their stories and a place where we could organize our thoughts and work on a strategy to try figure out a way how to stop this abuse from continuing. However, the first objective for this group was to mount a boycott of Goodreads. To get as many authors as possible together and in one preplanned day, delete our accounts off of Goodreads in protest to them allowing author abuse to take place on their website.

Well, that was the initial plan anyway.

That plan never did materialize. And thus, the goal of the group changed. It then became a support group for attacked authors. The creator of the group, Rick Carufel, turned the group over to people he trusted. I'm not completely sure what riffs came after that between him and the people he turned the group over to, but I think, from an observational perspective, when the purpose of the group started to change, I don't think Rick was approving of the changes. Eventually, the creator of the group was ousted by the very same people he was fighting for, and trying to help. But this is the human nature of groups. Changes are installed where the priority was supposed to be and the priorities changed under the new leadership. 

You see, in every group known to man, it starts when rules are put into place. This brings a level of "expectations" that everyone is supposed to "behave" in a certain manner. This always affects the individuality of some members. The main priority of the group was to be THE CAUSE, but because of these new rules that were put into place, "the cause" dropped in its priority status. It was replaced with image and perception. Apparently, Rick Carufel didn't "fit" that image or perception. So the person who created the group, then turned it over to those of whom he trusted, and was banned from it eventually. 

The members will say that he became a loose cannon. He made some mistakes. He no longer operated under the new rules. Because of this, he was expendable. He was tarnishing their precious public image, reputation and perception. Never mind that he was still trying to fight for the same cause that they were, and forget of all the good he had done up to that point, but he made a few mistakes (in their eyes) and for that, he had to go. They abandoned him. They broke ties with him. The new "majority rules" concept was already inserted, and they exercised it fully. But here's the thing, I don't abandon people so quickly like that. Especially someone who is trying to fight for the same cause as I am. Especially if that someone is someone I consider a friend. 

The reason is, to abandon someone is too easy. I'd rather take the harder road of trying to talk to that person and work things out that way. But because I am human too and know because of it, that I will probably make my fair share of mistakes along the way, I wouldn't want people to abandon me over it. Let's face it, we all make mistakes eventually - none of us are perfect. To expect perfection is to expect the impossible. But this was the new way of it evidently. These people, the so called "good guys", have now turned on one of their own, something that the bullies are famously known for doing, and now, I was witnessing the very same thing with these people. 

Then shortly afterwards, came the blog wars that we all saw take place between Rick Carufel and STGRB. Now, I know they both will stand behind their posts but the truth is, they were both wrong for publicly attacking one another. From looking at it from Rick's side, I couldn't fully blame him for the feelings of betrayal. It doesn't excuse some of his posts that he made attacking STGRB and Athena Parker, but it is a reason. The fact is, he never should have been banned from a group he created. That's just how I feel about it. 

And I have to admit that I expected STGRB to take the high road. They didn't. Okay, now there is perceived dissension in the ranks. The cause got lost in the fray. I could clearly see at this point that for the group, it was all about the image and reputation of the group, and the members within. Selfishness became the word of the day. To put yourself ahead of the cause is a very selfish act. It is. It's just the truth. The priority had changed and this is one of the downfalls of any group. When the objective of a group shifts, an unbalance within occurs. The objective was no longer what was in the best interest of the cause, but now, what was now in the best interest of the group.

I attempted to smooth everything over as best as I could, but to no avail. I was advised by some members of the group to follow their lead and cut ties with Mr. Carufel. I refused. Like I said, that would have been the easy thing to do. Plus, I do not shun those who are fighting for the same cause that I am. That's just not the way I am built. Call me old fashioned, but friendship and loyalty means something to me. 

I also had to take into consideration, as I stood on the sidelines as quiet about it as I could be, that none of these members, despite some of them having been attacked and all attacks are bad and wrong, that their attacks pale in comparison to the manner in which Rick was targeted and attacked. Hell, their attacks don't even scratch the surface of my attack for that matter. None of this seemed to matter to them though. They didn't seem to care or even try and understand. They carried themselves as if they didn't respect what he had gone through, only focusing on themselves and their precious images. I mean, they thought their attacks were bad? My thought is, when you get two hate blogs created in your honor, then you can come and talk your smack to me. Or when you get doc dropped all over the internet by the bullies, then you can talk your smack to Mr. Carufel. Until the, STFU!

But I bit my tongue. I tried to remain neutral as best I could. I wanted to repair the damage and get that unity back for all those fighting for the same cause. But when the priority changes and the cause is no longer the number one priority, unity would be impossible. And it was. 

I did see in these people the very same thing I see in the bullies. They turned on one of their own. Of course, they won't see it like that, then again, neither do the bullies see it like that. I didn't care for the similarities that I was witnesses here. Not one bit. This wasn't supposed to be how we were to behave. Not like the bullies. 

But I stuck with Rick. And for this, I could sense that some of these people in the group now secretly shunned me. Keeping in mind that some of the people were also against Rick being banned from the very group he created and being abandoned like he was. I then saw some of these people beginning to remove themselves from the group, quietly. New leadership had occurred and the transformation of the group complete. 

Now there was no way that the cause could ever regain top priority. 

It's just like in politics where the initial top priority is for the betterment of the people, the focus shifts eventually to what is best for the party instead, the people come second, or third, or worse. Am I right?

One thing was certain, I knew if it could happen to Rick, it could happen to anyone. It could even happen to me. 

I will confess, that after the blog wars between Carufel and STGRB, I started to become concerned that this ordeal would push him to the other side. I'm not sure I would have blamed him had it done so. But deep down, I wanted to keep my faith in Rick. I knew two things about him, one, he had conviction, and two, he was passionate for the cause. He wanted to stop this bullying that was / is going on. But I did have a few ounces of doubt. I even expressed this to the new "leadership" of the group. To try and stay in good graces with this new leadership, I said I would keep my eye on him. There was some strange things going on with some sock puppets and the thought was that it might have been Rick. I also kept in mind that it might have been someone trying to set Rick up. But I wanted to find the truth, so i was playing both sides until I could find it. But eventually, no evidence supporting either possibility ever emerged, so I later dropped it and decided to keep my faith in Rick. This was shortly after I announced that he and I would be working on our stories regarding our attacks and would be combining these stories into one book. 

I did, at one point, leave the group. I never gave an explanation, but most of my reason was for the way I saw them treat Rick. Again, if it can happen to someone once, it could happen again, it could happen a hundred more times. You see, once people get a taste of blood and power, it is hard to keep from developing a hunger for it. 

Then came Lucy Flood.

 When the holidays rolled around, I had rejoined the group. I think I felt that there was still a chance I could somehow try and get Rick back into the group he created. Essentially, that was all he ever really wanted. After he and I had a few heated exchanges in private. (All of it coming from me) I felt that I had gotten my thoughts and feelings through to him. I probably could have been less vulgar about it, but I valued his my friendship too much to be fake. I figured that if I was going to lose his friendship, I would lose it honestly by being myself. To Rick's credit, he kept his cool more so than what I ever did. Then again, I was fighting for our friendship. I think he knew this. 

Things appeared to have calmed down, I was back in the group, and it seemed Rick took my advice of taking a little break here and there, and things all across the board appeared to have calmed down. Rick was refocused on the cause, and once again, his posts started showing this. I knew Rick was willing to forgive and forget, but I wasn't quite convinced that the group members, or its leadership, was willing to do so. This was a huge disappointment for me. 

I thought to buy some time as we were now going through a period where oddly enough, STGRB was seemingly claiming some kind of victory and no longer wanted to be as active for the cause as they once were. Now, I will be the first to say that what STGRB has done for the cause is amazing. These people are not authors so they didn't have to do anything to begin with. They brought a lot of much needed attention to the cause and no one can ever take that away from them. I have a lot of respect for what they have accomplished. But when they declared some kind of victory, I was a bit flabbergasted. Oh sure, Goodreads appeared to be making some changes, but I couldn't figure out why they would all of a sudden trust GR to continue making those changes. Reluctantly, I took it with about a half grain of salt. I was willing to give GR a little benefit of the doubt. I mean, if STGRB was going to, then maybe I should try and sit back and see how it goes. 

It went about as well as I expected. Everything appears headed in the right direction, but it also shows that of perhaps being a little cosmetic. I'm not going to lie, the thought did occur to me that maybe, just maybe, some kind of "arrangement" was made behind the scenes between STGRB and Goodreads. You know, something like, "If you stop reporting about us, we'll do a little of this and a little of that and everybody looks good, and everybody wins." - Kind of thing. 

While I have no definitive proof that such an arrangement took place, the abrupt manner in which STGRB suddenly declared "mission accomplished" still leaves me to wonder. 

Most in part because the things that were being discussed in the group now focused more on the bullies and less to holding GR responsible. In fact, leadership was now casually beginning to paint GR as a friend, and I also took notice of how little positive things were happening. A ban here of one of the bullies, a ban there, just separated from each other enough to "keep hope alive", so to speak. When a ban was announced, everyone in the group would relish it and cheer, as expected. It would be the talk for weeks, and then when talk started to die down, another "banning" on GR of another top bully would lift those spirits back up again. And so on and so on. 

I found this rather interesting. 

Then I made a prediction to myself. That In January, another major banning would take place on GR. A few days later, STGRB announced the banning of Angela Longstaffe. My suspicions grew even larger. When you can predict stuff like that, it starts to get scary.

That announcement was followed by another post where GR has changed how review pages would be seen. It hides the nasty book shelves by the bullies. It doesn't get rid of them, merely hides them from public view. You have to click on that persons book shelf to see the actual book shelf or something to that effect. Rick Carufel quickly called it what it is, another GR cover-up. And lets be real here, that's exactly what it is. Goodreads has become better at covering up than Maybelline. 

I still can't figure out how STGRB went from laying the blame on GR all of this time and then BAM! go to praising them all the time on a dime. I'm not accusing them of anything sinister, but it is my built in defense system to be concerned about it. That's all I'm saying. 

Meanwhile, through the holidays, I slowed down too. Other than carpet bombing, the bullies were, to some small degree, being dealt with. Their mass exodus to BL also helped in cutting down the attacks somewhat, and the attacks themselves were extremely mild at that - when compared to my attack. 

STGRB did focus on the carpet bombing, so then did I to some extent. Let's face it, if some kind of back alley deal had been reached between them and GR, I'm sure that deal wouldn't have included to stop posting about the bullies and their continued activities. But again, not saying there was a deal reached, but speculating the possibility. (You have to cover all your bases.)

I kept my focus on the cause. To try and continue to help other authors who were still being targeted and attacked. Most of which was now coming from Amazon Forum Boards. For the better part, the attacks I covered, the authors had no problem with it. I thought momentum was building for the cause. I was mostly quiet in the group, still worried about their direction. Then I took a chance. I decided to roll the dice, and in the process of trying to do something good for the cause, I made a post about the Lucy Flood attack. I did, without her consent, post an email she sent to STGRB which was shared in the group by leadership. I took my own initiative and posted that email here on The Glass. 

The backlash was unexpected, I must admit. Lucy had sent me an email shortly after the post went live. She was apparently upset with what I had done. She requested I take the email down from the post. Other than that, she was impressed with the post itself. 

Frustrated as I was, I obliged her request. But then she sent another email thanking me, then she said some words that sent me over the edge. But before we get into that, allow me to explain something here: Through the year of 2013, I had corresponded with many victims of the bullies. Most of them authors, who reached out to me, and some non authors, who reached out to me to share their story. 

Okay, fine, tell me your story. All the while, in the back of my mind, I am assuming that they want me to share this for others for the sake of the cause. And I would read their stories and look at thier evidence, all the while, putting together some awesome posts for The Glass. Posts that would surely help the cause. The cause being my highest priority. Then, after all was said and done, I would announce that their story will go live on The Glass shortly. Then came the bad news. "Oh no, I don;t want this to be posted, I just wanted to share with you my story." 


Yes, I wasted so much time with someone who just wanted a sympathetic ear. Well, I'm not that sympathetic ear. I am all about the cause. I am all about getting these stories out there for everyone to read and showcase more and more how vile and cruel these bullies are. And if people didn't want to share their experiences publicly, then you telling me your story does no good for the cause. It's like a man going into a police station and telling the cops, "I just got robbed at gunpoint." When the police tell him to make a report, the man says, "No thanks." Then the cops look at him and say, "Then why bother telling us about it if you're not going to let us do our job?" Do you see where I'm getting at? And this didn't just happen once or twice, it happened more times than I think I can count. And if that wasn't frustrating enough, they would say the same thing, "I don't have courage yet to come forward publicly with my story, but maybe later I will get the courage."

Wrong answer Gus. 

I live by the words of my grandfather. "You either have courage, or you don't. Those who have it, never lose it. Those who don't, never will get it." 

So I despairingly placed those posts into draft status on my blog, hoping that my grandfather was wrong. He wasn't. Months would pass by and still, none of those people would contact me later to tell me they "suddenly got the courage."

Eventually, I had to delete those posts from draft. Stories that I spent so much time and effort putting together and could have made such a huge contribution to the cause. This was another reason why I began to realize that the author group on Facebook was a sham. It turned out, it became mostly where victims could go just to whine over their attacks and earn sympathy points. None of them really appeared to want to help the cause - or help other authors - from suffering the same fate as they. I thought this to be a little selfish on their part. I still think that. 

I made it a point to stop listening to their story. When an author contacted me, the very first thing I would ask was, "Can I post it on The Glass?" And when they came back with, "No." I would then inform them that they were talking to the wrong person. If i can't post it for the common good of the cause, then I wasn't interested. I know it sounds a little mean, but look at it from my position, none of their attacks ever came close to my attack, and if you're not prepared to try and help others with your story, or help the cause, then there is nothing I could do for them. 

I guess this didn't sit well with some. 

At least I was straight forward about it. It wasn't like I was trying to hide it from anyone. I was being honest. But this is what eventually became of the group. A place to whine. Now, there are some members in that group who are working hard behind the scenes for the cause. Those people know who they are and so do I. And I commend them for it. But there are some who are selfish, putting their own selves ahead of the cause. Those are the ones I have a problem with. They too know who they are. And I blame leadership for that. Some of the members never have been attacked and yet, they often times seem to be the loudest in trying to decide what the group should be about. I have a problem with that too. 

However, with Lucy Flood, she didn't come to me. Like I said, I took initiative to try and do something good, and basically went Rambo with this post and posting her email with STGRB. But like so many before her, after I obliged her wishes and took the email portion of the post down, when she thanked me, she said the magic words that sent me over the edge. "Thanks. I don't have the courage now to have my story shared, but maybe later I will."

I didn't mind the fact too much, while it was still frustrating though, that she wanted me to take down the email portion, but when she said those words about courage, I pretty much flipped out. She mentioned something about us working for the same cause to which I let her know that she and I were not working for the same cause, and that our business with one another has run its course. In essence, I didn't want her emailing me anymore. 

Basically, my cause is to spread the word of the bullies, and present stories of their evil activities. My cause was (and still remains) to try and help others by sharing these stories. Her cause was self serving. End of story!

When I sent her my response, I quickly blocked her from emailing me anymore. Mostly because I knew she would attempt it again. And she did. But instead of leaving it alone right there, she turned to the groups leadership to intervene. And intervene did leadership do. 

All the while, a movement was beginning to grow within the group. I knew that it would. I had already witnessed how they went after Mr. Carufel, so I knew they would be calling for my head too. No matter what, I knew it was their intention to eventually, ban me from the group. I mean, after all the many things I have done for the cause, one mistake was going to get me banished. One mistake was going to be reason enough for them to abandon me, like they did to Rick. There was one difference, however, I beat them to the punch. I removed myself from the group. After all, the priority was no longer the cause for them, the priority was self serving and preserving their precious reputation as a group. Forget all the good things I did before, I was human, I made a mistake, an error in judgement, a bad call, now I must be beheaded in their eyes. (So much like the bullies.)

This became crystal clear when "leadership" contacted me. It would appear that Lucy had changed her mind, she didn't just want me to remove the email portion, which I had already accommodated, but now it would seem that she wanted an apology too and leadership calling me out to "own it", like a bully would demand. So, I went back to the post, after responding that I no longer had time for cowards who were afraid of cowards, and I made a second edit and "owned it" as well as apologized. 

Then I received word from leadership that my public apology wasn't good enough for one Lucy Flood, and to top it off, since I wouldn't give her a personal, private apology, I.E., kiss her ass, that she, Lucy Flood, was going to post her and my email exchange if I didn't remove the entire post. 

Blackmail? Really? Oh joy! 

First rule of dealing with Carroll Bryant, never, and I mean, NEVER! attempt to blackmail me. It will never work. You see, to blackmail someone you need to have something on that person that that person doesn't want leaked into the public eye. There is nothing I have ever said to anyone that I am not willing to show the public, if need be, so my response was concise. I replied that since Lucy was intending to do that, I would just go ahead and reinsert that email I obliged her to removing upon her request, and .... then I was going to post her and mine email exchange in full and ... I was going to post the blackmail attempt.

Then leadership quickly changed their tune. When it was obvious that I was not being swayed to do their bidding, I was told that Lucy had a change of heart and was now going to just "let it go" and move on. 

How fitting. 

But was Lucy Flood really going to do that? Or was this just an attempt by leadership to get me to do what they wanted me to do?

Oh, but the removing of the email, then the "owning it" and the public apology still wasn't satisfactory for leadership, oh no, I was still being demanded to contact poor little Lucy and give her that ass kissing, I mean, that personal apology. I had to explain to leadership that I had Lucy blocked and I wasn't going to unblock her. My public apology would just have to suffice. But apparently, it wasn't accepted by the holier than thou's. 

Now, the reason I say that the group had become self serving (and they reminded me too much of the bullies) is because leadership was angry with me at first for not owning it and for not apologizing. I was called out to do both however, I assumed they wanted me to do both of these things on the post. So that's why I did it on the post. Yet when I did, leadership was angry with me because the bullies were using that post and putting their spin on it and making them (leadership) look bad.

First of all, you called me out on owning it and apologizing. Now you're pissed because I did it, and at the same time, you're more concerned about how the bullies are spinning this? Really? Well, who gives a rats ass about how the bullies are spinning it? I only did what I was asked to do and now I am being blamed for doing it. Plus, a simple solution to the problem would have been to just let it go and continue to show unity. Simple solution, right? But not the solution that leadership wanted I guess. But what is similar to the bullies is, you get attacked if you don't own it or apologize, and you get attacked if you do own it and apologize. (See what I mean?) And now look, how are the bullies not going to jump on this? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it Athena always saying the best thing to do is ignore the bullies, and don't respond? Maybe it's easier to say that when they're not talking about you, but here's the thing, they have talked about Athena and STGRB plenty of times, and she never seemed to care about it then so why would leadership care about it now that they are spinning this Lucy Flood story? In my opinion, leadership just made a nothing thing and turned it into something bigger than what it already was. Deleting the post would have only made it worse too. The only thing that would have made the bullies look the fool would have been to continue to show unity, and make it like it was no big deal, which in my opinion, it wasn't a big deal. Just a mistake that was quickly rectified.

But to be persuaded by what the bullies think, say and spin, and to build your convictions around it, only gives them more perceived power. Or am I missing something here?  

Then it was said that it was a good thing I removed myself from the group. Leaving me to realize that yes, indeed, they were planning on banning me, just like they did to Rick Carufel. 

Like I said, make one mistake, and it over-shadows all the good you ever did prior. I wasn't perfect like them so I was expendable. You know, because they are all so perfect and they never make any mistakes. Looks like forgiving people is a lost trait on them as it is with the bullies. The cause has gotten lost for that group, and it's leadership that is responsible for it. And yes, I blame leadership for the state that that group is in right now. They are heading in the wrong direction. Their priorities are all screwed up. But to me, the cause is much bigger than their group, much bigger than any individual (including myself) and much bigger than STGRB. 

But the cause has gotten lost on them. It's now all about trying to preserve their image and their precious reputations. It's now about how the bullies might spin it. It is now focused on self serving their own personal and greedy needs. It's now become fashionable to think and act like the bullies where, "If you don't think and believe as we do, then you're not a part of us. And if you don't do as we say, you're banned." Or maybe leadership is still pissed that their blackmail plan didn't go over as well as they would have liked?

Trying to blackmail someone to do your bidding? Really? Well, Carroll Bryant doesn't work for no one except Carroll Bryant. And for the cause. The cause is much more important than Carroll Bryant and his reputation. My reputation speaks for itself. I am straight forward. I am honest. I don't abandon my friends. I don't change the rules midstream. The cause is much bigger than their self serving needs, and their group. 

Then to add to the chaos, leadership removed their friendship with me on Facebook. Another "classy" move only equaled by the bullies. 

But I do believe in unity. Unity is a must. We are all supposed to be on the same side here. I know I am still focused on the cause, but their changing of the priorities is what led me to leave their group in the first place. And led me to leave it again the second time. And led me to backing out from wanting to post anymore here on The Glass. But I am going to take Mr. Carufel's recent advice, and change my strategy. He is changing his. 

But I just wanted to add that just because people make mistakes, it is no reason to abandon them. And it's certainly no reason to try and blackmail them. And no matter how insensitive you want to say I am by not wanting to listen to other people's story even if they don't want me to post it, it still does not excuse one from trying to blackmail me. That in itself is much more shameful. But do you think leadership will own that? Or apologize for it? You'll excuse me if I don't hold my breath.

And the people (person) I trusted the most did indeed let me down. The bullies may have been right about that after all, but I am not going to lose all hope of unity from ever again happening. I am also using this post to make a public plea to the "good guys" to get themselves refocused back onto what matters most, the cause. Show the bullies (and the world) that unlike the bullies, you too can "own it" like Carroll, and that you do have the ability to forgive. Show the understanding that people can make mistakes, and don't have to be crucified for doing so. Failure to do so will only make you no better than the bullies themselves. I hope you will make the right choice. We are all working for the same thing, at least I think we are, were, or whatever. It's time to take a peek inside the looking glass. It's time to face the facts - you are turning into what you most despise. It's never too late to rediscover what matters most. Not your ego's, not your self serving ways, not your reputations, or you image, and not perception, but rather, the most important thing that matters here is ...... The Cause!

I hope you keep that in mind. Blackmailing those who are supposed to be working for the same goals is not the answer. It's the problem. So is abandoning those who are trying to help in that cause. We have to put aside our petty differences, and overlook our humanly mistakes when they are made, and we have to forgive in order to rise above that of those we stand against. We have to be better than the bullies, or become, ourselves, the very same bullies we stand against.

I hope you make the right decision. I truly hope that you do not believe that you are perfect, and anything not perfect must go. I challenge you people to change your ways. Stop acting like the bullies, and get back on the path of the cause. Stop judging others and show a little more respect to those who came before you. And for those who are willing to fight for you. Rick, myself and STGRB were the only ones fighting in the trenches, and now you have only STGRB remaining. And they have basically stopped posting, for all intent purposes. 

While STGRB has taken the cause about as far as they could, I believe the last flicker of hope to a real "mission accomplished" may lie in the hands of one Miss Anne Rice. The whole point of the fight was to draw as much attention to it so the world can see the evidence on STGRB, The Looking Glass, and Rick Carufel's blog. The only thing that will bring about a true "mission accomplished" is if we get those eyes to see for themselves what is going on. Anne Rice may be that person to bring those eyes. And if she does decide to become more active, then those eyes will be more than just a thousand views a week or so on our blogs, but become perhaps millions instead. That attention will pressure Goodreads and Amazon to clean up their houses. Not just cover it up. It has already started on Amazon.

There was a group on the Amazon Forum Boards that was called "The Top Reviewers Forum" which was deleted after they attacked Ms. Rice in their forum. We all know that if they attacked any of us, this never would have occurred. This is why I hold out hope that the final blow could come to the bullies by way of Anne Rice. And if she does partake, then we would have Mr. Carufel to thank for it.

And while I will always give STGRB their props, their due diligence for all they have done and accomplished for the cause, I would hate to have to break the news to everyone when it's over that in the end, they lost sight of the cause and began turning on their own kind. I hope the leadership of the Facebook group will take a time out and think very hard about how they really want to be remembered. I hope for the sake of the cause, they discover what is more important than themselves. The Cause!

I know the bullies are going to take this post and run with it. They are going to spin it like they never spun anything before. I say, let them. The only way their spins will be truthful is if the leadership and the group, continue to abandon me and Rick Carufel for making mistakes. We are both prepared to show unity. I know I am willing to put this tiny fiasco behind me. Too much of a big deal was made of it in the first place. But taking what the bullies say and turning their words into lies is for the leadership and the group to put aside their ego's and self serving needs, and accept people for being human. And for the mistakes those humans might make. If they don't get back on the path for the cause, then everything the bullies say about this post, and however they choose to spin it, will actually come to light as a truth. The only way the bullies can beat you, is if you allow them to beat you. They can say what they want, it doesn't make it true.

I know what is right within my own self and my own heart. I don't need to worry about how others think of me, I need only to be concerned how I think of me. I know the type of person I am, and I am honest about it, flaws and all. I don't need the bullies to intimidate me into being someone I am not. I also don't need my "so called" friends to do it either. The sooner they realize this, the sooner things will get back to normal. If not, then they may as well just start letting the bullies into their group. Nobody will be able to tell the difference anyway.

So they can play their adolescent games all they want, they're not hurting me, they're only hurting themselves. More importantly, they are hurting the cause. But just because they're going to take that route doesn't mean that I have to. And I'm not. The cause is more important than my own petty personal feelings. It should be the same way on their end as well. I'm still holding onto the hope that it will be again. Hey, I'm a hopeless romantic that way. I don't have time to hate. Life is too short for that. Do I still think of leadership and the group as my friends? Yes, I do. Although, I doubt they think that way about me. But then again, that's their problem if they don't, not mine. I'm not a bully. I don't hold grudges.

"Call a spade a spade" My late grandfather once said. That's exactly what I'm doing.  

I'm Carroll Bryant ..... and I am all about The Cause.