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. 


  1. Great post Carroll, I have to call you on one statement,
    "Rick, myself and STGRB were the only ones fighting in the trenches, and now you have only STGRB remaining."
    You have that backwards. You and I are still in the trenches, STGRB is not. Nothing has been accomplished with GR the situation, that site is worse for authors than ever before. Now an author can get banned for saying "Thanks". What great victory did STGRB bring about on GR? Nothing at all.

    I was condemned for seeking the personal info of the trolls and posting it, just as they did with me. Well it would seem that two judges seem to think that's also the way to deal with bullies, stalkers and trolls. Remove the shield of anonymity.

    Remember what commissioner Gordon says in the Dark Knight, "He's not the hero they want, he's the hero they need." I believe that applies to the both of us and that there are no other Champions of the Cause. Everyone else is either too cowardly or trollish for my liking and I'd just as soon work alone as with them. That is except for the few you've mentioned who work quietly behind the scenes.

    They've shown their true colors, petty backstabbing snivelers more concerned with pointless attempts to impose their delusional authority than the cause, every bit as bad as the trolls

    They stole my group and turned it into a pack of whiners who will turn on you in a flash, how is that different that what the trolls do? It's not, it's exactly the same.

    It is you and I who will be remember as the guys who fearlessly fought the trolls and bullies to the end and won. STGRB will be a footnote that says they fought the fight for a while then went rogue because the sole proprietor of the group was delusional about her authority, expertise and importance, the same as the trolls. Being seen as the leader of the anti-troll movement became more important than getting results. The blackmail attempt for me is the final proof that they are worthless and a detriment to the cause. WIN indeed, Whining Incompetent Nematodes.

    1. What I meant by STGRB being their only outlet is, when there is another attack, they won;t be turning to you or me anymore to write about it because we were shunned. But they won't be able to now get it out because the only one left is STGRB and they are on a break, or semi retired or whatever. They won't cover it.

      Okay, yeah, you;re right, it was because of that troll hunt you posted about. And I;m not saying that the group's actions against you wasn't justified, they had reason to be upset. But I didn't think it warranted you to be banned. That's all. I feel there could have been a better way or solution. The group was too quick to act. You made a mistake, that's all. There was a better way of dealing with it in my opinion. That's all I was really trying to get across.

      I don;t think right now that them abandoning us is really their true colors. Not yet anyway. I am not ready to come to that conclusion just yet.

      I don't think STGRB will be a footnote. They deserve more. They have done a great job getting the fight to this point. However, that being said, I think it will be someone like Anne Rice who made put this thing to rest. And for STGRB, they will, and should be, given credit for what they have done, unfortunately, they do run a risk at also being remembered for abandoning people over something as foolish as the Lucy Flood post. It was nothing but a bump in the road, but some could be making it into a pot hole. That is a shame. But that is their choice should they take that road.

      I don;t care how, or even if, I am ever remembered for my participation in the cause, I am not doing it for any glory. I really couldn't care less.

      The blackmail is just a mistake on their part. I have already forgiven it even though, nobody has yet owned it or apologized for it. I don't need it. I don't need to be coddled. I am not here to fight STGRB. I only fight the bullies.

      I here now that the "Top reviewers group" was only suspended, not deleted. But still, it was suspended for their attacks on Anne Rice. Us nobody authors still wouldn't have received that kind of consideration. Right?

      This post is not me attacking anyone. It was to set the record straight and address a situation that I have received multiple emails regarding what is going on. I tried to work things out a little in private with leadership, and give them a chance to show unity but that offer was turned down. Leadership knew that I was going to go public with this around Tuesday if that offer was refused. But when friendships were removed from facebook and my presence on STGRB was removed, I took that as my answer and decided to post it today.

      I know I might not have all the facts of why you were banned from the group, but you also know we have never discussed in any detail about it, if at all. I am simply giving my opinion or perspective to that incident. No matter what the real reason was for you to be banned, I still maintain that there could have been a better solution. That's all. I always believed that the show of unity for the cause was more important than anything else. I still believe it.

      A lot of people get drunk from power. It's human nature. Not a horrible thing if the person drunk with that power is big enough to catch it, and correct it. Just saying in general.

  2. What more proof do you need? By your own admission while you were trying to work out a reconciliation they are blocking and banning you. The unity is there you and I are the troll fighters, us alone and our few friends who working silently behind the scenes. There are no allies in WIN or STGRB. We are it.

    1. I don't know if working on a reconciliation is the proper word. I was basically trying to just let it go. Which is why I blocked Lucy from emailing me. When I obliged her wishes, and removed the email portion per her request, I was done with it. But apparently, she wasn't, nor was leadership. (or some other members of the group) It was really just between Lucy and I, no one else needed to get involved. And if leadership couldn't get involved without picking a side, they shouldn't have gotten involved period. Leadership had no right at all to call me out. None. It's almost as if someone was just looking for any reason at all to get me out of the picture. But if so, then why?

      Maybe it has something to do with a possible back alley arrangement with GR. At least, it;s something to ponder anyway. A certain someone was pretty quick to pull the trigger on me. That leaves me baffled.

      So many questions, and not one single answer.

  3. The answer is simple my friend. The internet is infested with piss-ants on power trips and you've just experienced that. Remember delusional authority is worthless unless you can dictate to someone. Otherwise it's just delusion. Your know Athena's alleged author name. Search GR and see if all the down-ratings and bad reviews are gone on her books. That should tell you if a deal was cut to back off or not.

    1. Well, i will admit this much, I have received already a lot of emails from people asking me about that very thing of why I would suggest some kind of deal might have been done between STGRB and GR.

      I think I might have to do a post to show everyone what I have noticed. Not based on opinion, or speculation, but presenting some very interesting facts that raises some very interesting questions.

      Standby for that post, coming soon.


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