No, that happened long before I joined the Facebook "TLC "Kate Plus 8" Fan Page" sometime around the end of August/beginning of September, 2010. We had just come back from a very stressful 5 week long trip to India with 2 babies and a preteen. I had gotten ill and lost 26 lbs...came home to learn my beloved 14 year old cat Moose was dying of kidney failure (he died in early August, 2 weeks after we got home)...I wanted something to distract me from my grief so when I checked my Facebook home page one day and there was an "So and so liked TLC "Kate Plus 8" Fan Page!" So I thought, oh yeah, the show about all the kids, I remember watching that a long time ago! And hearing about the Gosselin's divorce the year before, I thought, oh, good, the show is still on, wonder how big the kids are now? So I clicked the "Like" button out of curiosity--and a journey began that I never could have anticipated happening in real life.
I lurked on the page for a short while, to get the feel for the new site. I remember being really shocked at the attacks against Kate Gosselin, the kids' mom, for a multitude of 'sins'--"Fake boobs!" cried several posters. "Fake teeth!" cried others, still others "Fake hair! Fake nails! Fake tummy tuck!" (still not sure how one fakes a tummy tuck but you get the idea). There where also rants against the dad on the show, Jon Gosselin, for sleeping with women years younger than him and spending their money on drugs and smoking and wearing Ed Hardy shirts and hosting Playboy bunny parties or something...I remember thinking, WOW, that's not how I remember that couple! They seemed so real on the series "Jon & Kate Plus 8" in the early years! I did some googling and found some 'hate' blogs dedicated to tearing down these two people, found other blogs correcting misinformation from the hate blogs...it was pretty wild to read some of the history about people like "Penn Mommy" who was supposedly a fan volunteering at the Gosselin home with the babies, who was dishing out unflattering gossip about Kate and Jon (mostly Kate)--only come to find out, the 'volunteer' lived thousands of miles away in California! Started learning the players who were pretty hard core in their hate of the couple (although now Kate is the sole recipient for the most part since Jon somehow achieved sainthood status in their eyes, go figure)...I remember my first post on the FB page was along the lines of "I don't care if Kate has fake hair, nails, tan, boobs, etc. What's important are the kids, who seem to be very well taken care of and as far as I know, they've never been removed from Kate's custody! :-)"
Little did I know that my OPINION of the situation would enrage some of the 'haters' as I learned they were called (or Khaters=Kate haters) so much so that to this day several are still MY "enemies" because of those early FB days! I had been on the internet since 1994, learned about USENET groups from my husband back then who participated in some political groups and a cat group or two since we had young Moose who had a few behavior problems--when we learned we were dealing with infertility problems, he found some support groups on USENET for me to join to get information and support...at some point he stopped participating in his groups, but I was pretty active for the next dozen years or so. I also found some soap opera/science fiction/scrapbooking/crafts groups I enjoyed on USENET as well. In between I had become politically active as well, becoming a member of one of the largest conservative websites online called FreeRepublic.com. So I had a lot of practice dealing with groups online, as well as the occasional 'flame wars' and 'trolls' who would pop in to cause problems. I learned how to speak up for myself in self-defense, and how to defend others who were being unjustly attacked for their opinions/beliefs. It was a good thing I had that background because otherwise what happened to me after becoming involved in the "Gosselin Wars" would have totally sideswiped me and thrown me for a loop! But more on that as more rebuttal posts are made!
Today the haters are on Twitter (and a handful of hate blogs dedicated to hating on Kate and her kids), having moved from Facebook (where Kate did not participate) to Twitter, which she joined after her show was cancelled after a successful 7 year run on cable tv. Surprisingly, when Kate joined she began tweeting back and forth with various fans/supporters (folks like me who didn't follow each and every episode like the haters do, but supported her as a fellow mom who had similar problems/victories/worries in everyday life), much to the consternation of the haters. I was fortunate to be included in that group...not that Kate and I are BFFs, or whatever, LOL. A tweet here and there, not really any big deal, but these haters? They deny it but so much of their behavior boils down to plain. old. jealousy. Nothing more.
Much has happened since that time, and I and my family have been attacked so many times I don't know where to begin, but for sure, I, "CJ" as I am known online, did NOT start the attacks by any means. I mean to clear that up here, and future posts will clarify the truth about various other 'memes' i.e. LIES told about me so often even the haters believe they are true after all these years!
After my first comment posted, I was attacked/belittled by what seemed to be a small group of regulars on the FB page...my nickname online for many years was 'whodunit' and when I signed up for FB it wanted a first name so I gave my initials-"CJ"--combined "CJWhodunit". The haters assumed immediately that I was a fake account or 'sockpuppet'/'sock' of one of the regulars who defended Kate/Jon/fans! Of course I wasn't but in hindsight I can see why they thought that, although I didn't personally attack ANY of them. I made it clear I was myself and I didn't 'sock', and I tried to use humor to get through to them because I have made friends online with other folks who had different opinions than me, and in my naivete I thought that would happen here.
It didn't. There were snarks, I would snark back. Attacks on folks who became online friends, I would counter with defending them from the attacks--never with cursing or nasty language, trying to use common sense but it was like beating my head against the desk. Back then FB had discussion boards where folks could create a topic and discuss it, many times the haters (or 'cupcakes' as they were called on FB, I believe because instead of actually having decent discussions with others, the haters would start discussing cupcake recipes, candy, etc.). I remember at times being so aggravated by their juvenile attempts to ridicule others, I would respond by copying their posts, posting definitions, etc. to get their goats, LOL. Didn't work, they'd keep on keeping on with their hating.)
At some point there was a 'truce' where everyone promised to play nice with each other. I made the dumbest decision of my life when I was convinced to change my FB name of "CJWhodunit" to my real name (several high school friends had tried to reach me but couldn't find me under my nickname so I thought, killing two birds with one stone! Everyone is happy!)--hoo boy, I couldn't have been more mistaken, shaking my head here remembering.
Behind the scenes, the haters began investigating me on Google (and from other resources available at a car dealership? I've always wondered), especially a woman named Kristine Jensen, who worked as a receptionist at a car dealership. My first indication that the 'truce' had gone bad was when someone exposed the haters in an incident that came to be known as "Code Red"--basically, the haters created a sock of a young woman named "Emma" who was supposedly pregnant with triplets...who had signed up on the FB to get advice from Kate Gosselin on how to deal with multiples.
Only problem was--EMMA WASN'T REAL.
PLEASE NOTE: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE IN MANY OF THE FOLLOWING SCREENGRABS.
Melanie Clarkson had deactivated her account by then once exposed, so her avatar and name are missing from the screengrabs.)
Several other haters join the conversation where they are mocking fans/Kate, etc. At one point Aimee Giles suggests calling the police on a fan's daughter's wedding reception and claiming DRUGS are being dealt! The other haters laugh with her, then this interesting conversation which is pertinent to what happened to ME personally as time went on:
There are many more screengrabs of these people discussing ruining other peoples' LIVES with absolutely NO scruples whatsoever, absolutely incredible to read still after all these years!
Soon, the conversation mentions ME--mind you, I *NEVER* had a hidden conversation about ANYONE in the hater crowd at this point in time:
Remember, that last blank picture on the screengrab is MELANIE CLARKSON of SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA. That is pertinent to what happened to me and my husband and our family in real life later on.
More chitchat, then...
Hmmm. No, "Carolyne is attacking people and calling them terrible names and saying terrible things
!" but "CJ is obsessed with posting "positives" on the site tonight"???
Ah, at last my 'crimes' are mentioned! I SAID POSITIVE THINGS.
Yes, I 'annoyed' these haters because...I said positive things and defended myself, Kate, her children, and others on the FB "Kate Plus 8" Fan Page.
Shaking my head here.
But wait! There's more!
The truce dissolved once people learned that they were being messed with royally ("Emma" had a miscarriage and some folks actually wanted to take up a collection to help her pay for the baby's funeral! Unreal!)
So, I and many others blocked the lot of them. And the whining you just would NOT believe. Oh, my gosh, these haters would freak out if you blocked them! They just couldn't stand it and to this day they can't stand it. My new friends and I were enjoying relative peacefulness because while these haters were still spewing their nastiness all over the page, we who had blocked them couldn't see it, and that was very nice indeed.
But like I said, the haters couldn't.stand.being.blocked.
So like little children they devised ways to get our attention. I learned that by logging out of FB and then looking up the page, I could see the full set of comments from everyone...and as "Hope", a young college student warned me before she went her own way due to the personal attacks on her by these haters, they were up to no good, commenting in some sort of 'code'--so I logged out to check what she was referring to...and saw Kristine Jensen and Melanie Clarkson and others using numbers/locations etc. of various things from MY life--my house number, my birthday in number form, etc.--chatting back and forth releasing more and more bits & pieces about my private life...
...which of course I know now is considered public since it can be found online on the White Pages, etc. but back then I didn't know and I was TERRIFIED of Kristine Jensen releasing my address where God knew who could come to my house and try to break in or worse! Little did I know...so I unblocked Kristine Jensen and invited her to a PM/'private message', sort of FB email. This is how that conversation went:
Am I the only one who feels a threatening undertone from Kristine Jensen in this exchange??
More rebuttals to come.