If you’ve been a regular, you’ll notice that I took down the last two posts on the subject of Jim Bock and the Sponsorship Group in Chatham, NJ. I want to be clear that the episode detailed in those posts did not drive us to close the blog, so I’m going to tell the story again with more clarity.
There is someone leaving comments on forums around the internet about someone named Jim Bock who runs the Sponsorship Group in Chatham, New Jersey. They’re hit-n-run cut/paste comments that look like this:
One of the all time most pathetic and dangerous AA groups ever is based out of Chatham NJ. They are called the Sponsorship Group and their leader is Jim B.
Dictator Jim B. and his disciples have been ruining the lives of young women since at least 2000. To call what they do “13th Stepping” would be a compliment. Imagine a group of people with no medical or psyciatric training that tell people how and why they need to stop taking necessary medication! It’s a disgrace. People have suffered and in some cases are dead as a direct result of this groups actions!
Jim B. and his disciples at the Sponsorship Group all have SG tatoo on their wrists and live by the rules of Jim B. He takes advatage of people who are in need of help. He should be charged with mental abuse and should have to register as a sex offender. He will experience KARMA soon.
A few of these comments appeared here (using the full last name), buried in the discussion section of random posts, and they were not on my radar.
So, last week, I received an email from Jim Bock that looked like this:
from Jim Bock email@example.com to “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com> date Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 8:26 PM subject Remove slanderous statements
[Jim Bock included my complete home address here]
Dear Ms. Thompson,
Please remove the slanderous comments about me and my AA group.
I have suffered financial damages and the statements are not true.
My name: Jim B
My AA Group: Sponsorship Group
In the event that you continue to facilitate the defamation of my character I will file suit.
A more effective letter would have gone something like this, “I notice that someone is leaving comments about me and my group on your blog. As I am not there to defend myself, and shouldn’t have to follow this person around the internet defending myself, will you please remove them? Thank you, Jim B.” I would have done it. Cripes, I even apologized to JD once. I might be an asshole, but I’m not an asshole.
Instead, Mr. Bock opened his email to me by letting me know that he knows where I live, made a demand and threatened to sue. Seeing my home address, I understood it as an attempt to intimidate me. What’s more, earlier that day, I received a phone call from the number you see blocked out under Mr. Bock’s name. The caller left no message. I responded to all this by posting Jim’s letter on the front page of the blog and inviting him to kiss my ass, which I believe is just proper blogger etiquette.
Since this is a blog, participants made hay, and discovered several interesting and creepy things about a person named Jim Bock who resides in the vicinity of the Sponsorship Group in Chatham NJ. For instance, there’s a Jim Bock, R.N. who works at the Cleansing Clinic and has a practice administering high colonics, among other therapies. There’s also a Jim Bock who was
charged with participating in a pattern of criminal activity at Beacon that included stock manipulation, unauthorized trading, fraudulent misrepresentations, parking of stock, refusing to execute sell orders, and filing forged documents to prevent discovery of their crimes. link
A few nights after this email went live, a couple of comments appeared on the blog, both from a single IP address that resolve back to a hotel in Miami Beach. The first comment said:
[deleted names] are pedophiles.
Isle Thompson [address deleted]
And the second one said:
david krough says
Ilse Thompson Thank you for supplying the information necessary to arrest [names deleted].
You have dealt the Mexican Drug Cartel a major headache.
The deleted names belong to felons. These comments might look a little cryptic, but what’s happening here is this: “joe” is attempting to make it appear that I have called people out by name as pedophiles — or to link me to the accusation — and he helpfully provided my home address to anyone who would be offended and might want to take action. And “david krough” is the name of a journalist who is local to me. This imposter “david krough” is attempting to make it appear that I have been instrumental in interfering with “the Mexican Drug Cartel,” and it’s no secret how people who interfere with business are treated. In short, someone was up late in Miami, fantasizing about my violent demise and concocting a scheme to actualize this vision on the cheap.
I contacted the FBI about this, of course, and filed a detailed report. I also spoke with an agent. Someone is trying to frighten me, and — profound stupidity notwithstanding — has actually taken steps to facilitate violence against me. It’s a crime. Finally, it was confirmed that someone by the name of Jim Bock was checked into the very hotel in Miami Beach where this IP address originated. (Wouldn’t it be ironic if this were the same Jim Bock who has himself listed as the founder of ”Survivors Foundation- Providing Training for Therapists and Counselors for Abuse Survivors”? You’d think a guy like that would know how to send an email.) In any event, I think that from now on all people named Jim Bock should be concerned with my ongoing safety and health.
And, tonight, we have stumbled into yet another coincidence: Monica’s Safe Recovery Blogspot Radio show aired today, featuring Ryan, whose sister committed suicide while in AA. In the middle of the show, they received a caller. Here’s a transcript of the call (starting around 33:26):
Monica: Caller, you’re on the line. Hi. Hello.
Caller: Hi! Can you hear me?
Monica: Hi! I can. Who’s calling? Can I have your name?
Caller: Hi, yeah, yeah, my name is uh Bonnar. B-O-N-N-A-R.
Caller: Yeah, Bonnar.
Monica: OK. OK. Hi Bonnar.
Caller: Yeah, you know, hi. I was just kinda listening to the story about the guy’s sister, uh, it really upset me because, you know, I wish that I had known that she was dead last night because I was wondering why she didn’t move around that much.
Monica: Excuse me?
Caller: You know? I was wondering why she wasn’t moving around that much when I was porkin’ her brains out, you know? I didn’t know she was dead.
Monica: Oh my god. Who are you talking to?
*Monica hangs up*
Monica remembers the area code of this call (and has a request in to BlogTalkRadio for the entire number). It’s 973, which just happens to be the area code of the phone numbers on the contact page of the Cleansing Clinic, which employs someone named Jim Bock.
So, no, we did not close the blog because of Jim Bock, as JD speculated on the goodbye post. I adore his comment so much that I want give the old Unending Airhorn of Sanctimony the last word:
J D says:
I think many of us gained a lot of pleasure from ST and I too am sorry to see this situation come to pass. The last terribly defamatory thread comments were all deleted probably in the hope that responsibilty for the accusations of rape and murder and encouragement for baseless complaints against his license to impact his financial life, and all the terrible and false character traits ascribed to him would not fall to the site owners. Hopefully the rapid closure of the site and deletions (only of that thread) will satisfy the harmed party.
I’d encourage him as one member to another to not take any further actions and just let this drop, as these people ultimately met him more than half way and there is nothing to be gained by going any further in this matter.
As someone who also was similarly trashed at great length unmercifully, I can assure him it’s all quite meaningless when one considers the difficulties these people must deal with and is quickly forgotten. They just lack a place where they fit and show that by their frenzy which would shock Gaddafi’s captors when they see any potential subject for their pent up angst.
I would definately take the high road at this point and let it go, were I the one deciding. And, doing so would put a fitting end to a crowd who thought we weren’t sincere. A last kindness to those who don’t in the least merit it.
::sigh+tear:: What’s the internet for if not for helping like-minded, authoritarian whackaloons find each other on this lonely planet?