As I mentioned, my post on the Toyota problem had attracted the attention of a dissident, who was quite strident in his support of Toyota. I had hoped that he would bring some real evidence to the table, but alas, what little evidence he had was delivered among profanity and insults. I’ve had to remove a few of his posts to keep the tone civil, but have otherwise let him be.
But yesterday, the dissident (one George Jones, apparently from Canada) took a step too far, and impersonated the author of a critical petition, claiming her work was all a fake.
The comments are still there; I have no intention of removing the evidence of this person’s vileness. But I did contact the target of the fraud, Charlene Blake, who was happy to pass on information regarding the petition and the extraordinary harassment campaign she’s endured.
Jeff, I went briefly to check this George Jones….can’t post now….BUT……he is LYING! I have NEVER added one name to the petition, nor have I signed the petition more than ONCE….the first one! You have someone committing libel on your site!
Also, some more interesting information: the petition signatures Jones asserts were fake turned out to be, in fact, fake. But not in the way you might expect:
My petition has had many (see all the “deleted” lines) attacks from the SAME individuals who job it is to STOP me. They have not succeeded, however.
Get that? They tried to fill the petition with bogus signatures, and then cite the very deletions as evidence that the petition is bogus. Here’s an example of one such deleted “signature” she forwarded to me:
MORE PHONY NAMES!! COMPLETE FAKERY HERE!!!! GUESS WHAT? CHARLENE BLAKE HAS RETURNED FROM THE TRIP TO FLORIDA AND HAS STARTED POSTING PHONY NAMES AGAIN. NOTHING WAS HEARD OVER THE HOLIDAY UNTIL YESTERDAY, AND NOW THE CHARADE STARTS UP AGAIN. AFTER NO ACTIVITY FOR ONE ENTIRE WEEK, NAMES START APPEARING TWO AT A TIME. WHO DO YOU THINK WE ARE CHARLENE BLAKE—YOUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS???
This appears to be one battle in a long war against Ms. Blake, in several car forums.
Now, I have nothing against Toyota. As I mentioned before, as long as you know what you’re getting into, Toyota vehicles can be a great choice. No one’s perfect, and Toyota certainly has done better in this regard than some. (I note, with glee, that Ms. Blake cut her teeth on Chrysler before taking on Toyota; if only she could have helped me with my trouble-mobile!) I don’t necessarily endorse everything Charlene Blake has ever done, or claim that Toyota is never the victim of deception perpetrated by dishonest customers.
But harassment as a response? That’s dirty pool. And when my own blog is used as a conduit of some of that harassment, I get downright angry. Maybe Ms. Blake is the one at fault on all those other car boards and petitions, but I know what happened here, and I know who I’m inclined to believe based on both personal experience and past performance.
And what’s worse, these people are meddling in affairs that are none of their business to try and prevent others from getting restitution from harm done to them. If these owners are trying to defraud Toyota, do we really think poor, hapless Toyota is doomed without net.trolls to come to their rescue? Certainly not! And what if the net.trolls are wrong, and they are helping a company defraud innocent private citizens who lost good money over lemons? It would almost be better to learn that the trolls are paid company shills–motivated by mere greed–than to consider that these people did it for the sheer depraved, sadistic pleasure of hurting people.
For this post only, I’m modifying the comment policy. Anyone–anyone at all–posting here with even the slightest hint of slander against me, Ms. Blake, or anyone else will find their comment text deleted and their identity exposed to the best of my ability. Don’t like it? Post on your own blog, with whatever comment policy you can stomach. This is what happens when people use my site to perpetrate vileness. And further comments will be disabled on the original post.
UPDATE (2005-10-10): Well, that was fun. I suppose I’ve underestimated the tenacity of the “Charlene-Blake-Is-The-Devil” cult. Playtime’s over, kids; time to stalk Ms. Blake somewhere else.