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#48007 - 04/09/04 07:37 PM NAO EXPOSED
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
I got off the phone earlier today with with "Scott McKinley". Nao's therapist who told me that he terminated with Nao yesterday because he (Nao) was uncomfortable with a male therapist. "Scott" said he referred Nao to a couple of female therapists in the area who are experienced in abuse issues, though not male survivor issues.

"Scott" sounded young and his voice was a bit too high for a male, in my opinion. I got suspicious and began asking questions which eventually led to asking him why he was calling from a pay phone. (He said his office phone had no machine but he had a "patients only" line which was his cell phone that patients could get him at any time. I expressed my amazement that he had no machine and then asked why he was calling from a pay phone. He said it was a beautiful day and he was waiting for his next patient outside and called from there.)

I asked what his degree was in and he stumbled. I said I don't believe him and the house of cards collapsed. He first said he was "not a predator" and then admitted he was researching male victimization for a book he was writing and that he was all the characters we have encountered. He said it was not meant to be hurtful and that "lots of authors pose as people they are not." He said he did this before while researching a book about heroin users. I told him that authors don't do that and this was a terrible thing to do to people who had experienced betrayal in their lives. He apologized repeatedly. I really had to keep myself under control as I was quite pissed (and still am). I asked his age, he said 22. I asked his name.... Heather.

She was apologetic and said she would send me a few chapters of the book she is working on. (She later emailed to say her publisher advised not to since the Internet is not secure.) I said I would appreciate an honest explanation with apologies that might be posted to the board.

Below is her apology and reasoning for doing what she did. I told her I would post it and asked that she read the responses it generates.

If your reaction is extremely powerful or threatening, we may have to edit it. I am sorry this happened but I think the mods and those who were initially suspicious did the best we could.

In the future, all who come here as teens will be given a Mod buddy who will act as mentor and, if necessary, skeptical investigator. If someone is in therapy, I will ask to speak to their therapist because there ain't no way someone is going to fake that with me. (Heather faked all the emails, postings from the parents, and two phone calls to me as the mother.)

Here it is:
Ken
Quote:
To the members of the MaleSurvivor board:

Many of you know me as Nao and have reached out to me to help me.
Unfortunately, at this point, I really have to come clean. My name isn't
Nao (it's Heather), I'm not 14 (I'm 22) and I'm not a boy (though I am still
a victim of SA). I currently work in a dental office to make ends meet, but
really I'm a struggling author trying to get a book published and was posing
at your site as the character in my novel to gain information for my story.
While I have experienced abuse myself, I didn't know how one would
experience it through male eyes. Part of the reason for the novel is to let
people know that male sexual abuse does exist and when a boy experiences
that, it can have devastating effects. My hope is that the boys or men who
read my novel will see how badly this character's life turns out and will
hopefully seek help for themselves to avoid such an end.
So why pose? Why not simply come onto a message board and ask advice as an
author? That is a problem - most people when dealing with serious things
(such as SA, drug abuse, HIV and other issues that come up in the novel) do
not want to share with an author. They will tell this person "Go to a
library for your research!" It isn't that simple. A library book cannot
tell you how it feels to go through some of this stuff. A book can tell you
facts and figures - how many children are abused, what is the normal age,
etc. It cannot tell you what is in the heart of an abused child's soul or
what goes through his mind when he cries. That can only come from talking
to victims. The problem is, victims will seldom talk to authors, so our
only choice to gain information on sensitive issues is infiltration.
So why not go to a support group - I'm a girl. They're not going to let me
in a male support group. My only choice was to do it online.
There was another reason - by posing as my character I was able to put the
feelings he has in the novel out there and see if they're genuine. Put him
to the test as a character - is he believable? I found out that he is and
that's important.
I was informed that some people thought it sounded as though I was looking
for cyber-sex, as I had said to someone on the board, I'm not even 100%
clear on what cyber-sex IS! So I'm sorry if I got too detailed and I'm
sorry if people thought that was my intention, it wasn't at all.
As a novice author I broke the first rule of infiltration - I got too
emotionally involved. My original plan was to post the survivor story and
just sit back and read the board, but I went too far. I cried with you
guys, for you guys. I prayed for all of you. You men on the board are all
so strong and I do wish you all the very best in your recoveries and
healing. I'm sorry I hurt you and betrayed you, especially those of you who
spent hours talking to me thinking they were helping a hurting child. I
know how it feels to be hurt and betrayed, it's not a good feeling and I'm
very sorry. I never set out to hurt anyone but I did. Many times I felt
guilty because I knew all of you were pouring out your heart and soul on the
website and I was only doing research.
Believe me, as a religious person, I've felt guilty about lying to all of
you. It hasn't been easy, many times I've thought of coming clean and
didn't until it was necessary.
I promise that no one's name will be used in the novel, I also will not
quote any specific person word for word and no one else's survivor stories
will be written in there either. You will all remain confidential and after
writing this, I will delete the false e-mail accounts I have set up and
throw away any e-mail address of yours that I've obtained along the way.
However, the lessons you've taught me, everything I've learned from being at
the site, will be a part of the book in my own words. It is my hope that
these words will reach other survivors and they will begin the healing
process. Nao isn't real in the flesh and blood sense but because of the
valuable knowledge I've gained from all of you, he will seem real to those
reading the novel.
Believe it or not, you have helped me deal with issues of my own abuse and I
thank you. I do hope that the advice I've given people here has helped them
as well, because it was sincere. I am still praying for all of you.
I won't ever post here again but I can't promise that I'll never infiltrate
another message board. Unfortunately, it's just part of the research job.
Writing is not an easy task; it's especially hard when dealing with serious
issues. I will promise though, that should I infiltrate, I will try my
hardest first to gain the information without having to resort to that.
I ask that no one attempt to contact me. I will not contact any of you
again. If any of you one day pick up my novel I hope you will be able to
recognize the valuable information contained within it and that you will
feel even slightly happy that you may have helped someone begin to heal.
Again I'm very sorry that I've hurt people here. I wish you all the best in
your recoveries and healing and I will continue praying for all of you.
Peace to you and may God bless you,
Heather




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#48008 - 04/09/04 08:10 PM Re: NAO EXPOSED
Rod Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 10
Loc: Salt Lake City
Hm... the part of my response that doesn't need editing is as follows:

There are lots of books already out there, written by people who didn't need to lie and exploit people to write them.

I will pre-edit the rest of my response

YOU _____ ____ DAMNED _____ HOW DARE YOU ____
____ WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE JUST TRYING TO GET
THROUGH THE _____ DAY.


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#48009 - 04/09/04 08:17 PM Re: NAO EXPOSED
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
Scott / Heather -

I don't quite know how to react to this!

If somehow Heather can create a greater understanding of our issues among the general public, then perhaps we may have been led astray with some benefit.

What greatly concerns me is that I am just 'escaping from hell' and thought that I was supporting a family that was attempting to do the same!

I/We have very low levels of trust - will this mean that in future I will limit my responses & wait until someone has been here for several months before I believe that they are genuine & offer support to someone who is in dire need of that support!

I believe that I must take everyone here at face value and will continue to offer support.

Heather - give yourself a big slap on the wrist...I was a little suspicious last week when Nao suddenly decided to go to the Mal at the same time as his 'parents' posted that 'he has gone to the Mal with his friends...at least thats'where he said he was going'.

Don't play games with people that do not need it!

You deserve better / we deserve better.

Despite that.. best wishes ...Rik

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#48010 - 04/09/04 08:22 PM Re: NAO EXPOSED
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
The worst part of this, is that I remember Nao stating that instead of going to the MAL, he had gone back for more abuse! I am thousands of miles away and could picture that happening in my head. There was not a hope in hell of me stopping that abuse AND IT WASN'T EVEN HAPPENING!

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

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#48011 - 04/09/04 08:23 PM Re: NAO EXPOSED
Nathan LaChine Offline
Webmaster
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 5381
Loc: Washington State
Heather,

What ever I say to you will probly go in one ear and out the other. You played on people's love, caring nature, and abuse. You may have hurt people in ways that are far worse then their abusers did. You have taken a safe place away from a victim and made some question if the people on this site are really here to heal. Your actions cannot be explained and if you truly only wanted to do "Research" you should have asked and I am sure that one of us would have come forward. Your actions are no better then an abuser.

Nathan


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#48012 - 04/09/04 08:38 PM Re: NAO EXPOSED
jwh Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 98
Loc: dallas, tx
I must say, I find this both disturbing and intriguing. I'm an author as well, but I am a male and a victim of sexual abuse. I can relate to Heather's desire to gain knowledge and be able to see through the eyes of her protagonist. And certainly it must have been thrilling, as an author, to write the posts themselves, and have others respond to the character. It would be a bit like actually living a novel. Given that all we see on the Internet are words, everyone who posts messages can easily be seen as simply another character.

That said, I think that Heather has done a very immoral thing here primarily because we, as survivors, lack trust. Trust was ripped from us by our perpetrators. And I assume, if she is telling the truth now (how can we know?), that trust was likewise ripped from her when she was abused. Now, she chose, ostensibly only for literary reasons, to pose as a male survivor garnering support from us. In doing so, she exploited the trust of the men who post here. It's fine and well to talk about how much she has valued what she shared with us, and how this will help others through her fiction, but the fact is that she USED the men who posted here. Used them for her own gain. Personally, I don't post here a lot, so I never got involved with "Nao." If I had, I'm sure that I would feel more betrayed. As it is, I just feel repelled that someone would fake this in order to help herself.

There are so many survivors who truly need help; people posing as survivors could distract from the true ones. If you are reading this, Heather, I hope you take this into account before you go "infiltrating" other boards. Is it really okay to take advantage of other people for artistic gain? Or, even if it would, possibly benefit other survivors who read the book (which assumes that the book gets published AND that male survivors actually read it, two unknowns), is it worth it to sacrifice the survivors here and now for those possible readers in the future?

Jeff

_________________________
"I've been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand... Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man?"--Ian Curtis, Joy Division

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#48013 - 04/09/04 09:02 PM Re: NAO EXPOSED
RICK57 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/03
Posts: 1611
Loc: ENGLAND
I'm still here & things that I remember from the postings are:

'Crying himself to sleep' 'Don't know what to do to help him' 'he might be gay' 'I wouldn't judge him'. The additional younger sister other than the one that was allegedly recently born! A multiracial family....next time just call yourself 'Pandora's Box'

Read up on Max Clifford!

_________________________
*Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
*I was seeking a way of expressing my anger - I found hope!
*There are many battles before the war is won! It can be won!

Top
#48014 - 04/09/04 09:23 PM Re: NAO EXPOSED
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Now that I've calmed down a bit I'll respond.

This has been one of the worst examples of betrayal of trust that I have ever seen, and been subjected too.
The garbage she has written about forgiveness doesn't mean a damned thing to me, she lied before and I don't know if she's lying now - frankly I don't much care.

What I do care about is the feeling so many of us must have at being used in such a cynical way.
I know that we have supported "nao and his family" in the only way we know how, totally and without judgement, for that we should all feel proud, we gave our support, and more, because we care passionately about other Survivors.
She abused us.

Her motives might well have some justification, but I for one have spent time talking to other writers and authors in an open and honest manner because they came to MS and ASKED.
And I would do that again for any potential author.

I would however like to thank all the guys who exposed this fraud, from the Members who raised suspicions to the Moderators and Admin' who have spent so much time on this. It was time well spent.
We WILL continue to strive towards keeping MS safe.
It's not easy, and it takes some time to expose fraudsters, and invariably people will get hurt along the way as we get sucked into the web of deceit.

I do hope that she takes the time to come back and read all of our responses, I also hope, sincerely, that she learns from her mistake.

It's time to roll out the support guys, for each other !

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#48015 - 04/09/04 09:31 PM Re: NAO EXPOSED
LupinIII Offline
Member

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 156
First of all:

Ken, thank you. I think what you did was tremendous and shows great valor.

"She was apologetic and said she would send me a few chapters of the book she is working on. (She later emailed to say her publisher advised not to since the Internet is not secure.) I said I would appreciate an honest explanation with apologies that might be posted to the board."

Ken, I was going to send you chapter's of my new novel but Stephen King and J.K. Rowling told me not to..you know since fantasies and daydreams aren't reality.

Secondly:
Brothers, please don't let a lonely woman working in a Dentist's office throw you off. What this woman did is terrible..and btw honey please just buy the Fletch DVD's so you can get over your fantasy of being this great mysterious undercover writer....however how sick must she be to have done this? Pretty f-ing sick.

I hope she gets help.


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#48016 - 04/09/04 09:34 PM Re: NAO EXPOSED
LupinIII Offline
Member

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 156
BTW mods/admins isn't there something you can do by reporting this to her hosting company by ISP (or something like that). I seemed to recall in other forums that there was something you guys can do as admins where she would get banned from her current service. I might be taking a shot in the dark here, but I seem to remember reading something about that.


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