Lifting The Veil

More on Trolls With Wooden Spoons

May 30, 2013
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Who needs soap operas or reality TV? With the vastness of the internet, the world is your oyster.

That’s how Trolls With Wooden Spoons feel.

Their forum was created as a frustrated off-shoot from MDC ( Feeling overrun by the “woo” (natural parenting), they needed a place to bitch and moan. Being a mother can be so dull, after all. They needed a place where trolls could be trolls.

These women are very harsh on things they have a distaste for. It’s like a no holds barred competition of who can be the rudest, foulest, judgmental woman towards other women and mothers. Why women who hated “woo” were every interested in Mothering Magazine or in the first place is a point oft overlooked. Some say they were “steeped in the woo” and then “detoxed” with the help of TWWS. Others simply seem to like floating to any forum as long as it fills the hours in their days. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Hey, as long as you have some place to log into on the internet where people can tell you what’s okay to think, right?

The following pictures show examples of just some of the snark coming from TWWS. Most of the snark had been and still is based off of users of the MDC forum. They had a huge thread crash back in early 2011 which cost them some of their most disgusting behavior.  Therefore, some of their most offensive antics are missing.

(These ones start with concern for someone and devolve quickly into something a little disturbing.)

twws4(Next they discuss their favorite “trainwrecks” of the MDC forum, with much joy. The same user from the previous posts is also discussed among them.)

Yep, such a snoozefest you had to remember her and discuss her in your best-of. Pathetic.

Snark and frustration in and of themselves are not crimes. Everyone has an opinion and having a place to express that with like-minded folks is understandable. What is most worrisome about TWWS are the following things.

  • People stay members of (a) forum(s) they despise merely to try to cause disruption in sub-forums, find entertainment “material” (other people’s lives) to bring back to their lair, or find things to be pissed about.
  • People inform others about when they are being discussed. They are then directly or indirectly invited to TWWS. Sometimes this is done under the guise of compassion, and with a link provided. It would be mean enough if they kept their negative thoughts only to themselves in their forum (you have to be a member and log in to read), but to then purposely try to hurt others or engage them in being shredded by a large group of mean-spirited trolls is totally different.
  • Obsession and amusement. They would sometimes have 50 page threads all dedicated to how much they hated one particular user. Their comments would be full of speculation, lies, gossip, and some of the nastiest things human beings could ever say about other human beings (especially those they’d never met). They often “break out popcorn” to enjoy disputes or entertaining lives at the expense of their victims. They will follow a person’s every move just to report back, and will try to locate them in other internet places in order to track the “adventures”. They will go on to remember this individual for years after they started in on them, having a whole timeline as one might recall a favorite television series. A lot of times their opinions and recollections are mish-mashed from several people they lump in together who must have seemed similar to them.
  • They do not extend the same courtesy to others that they would like for themselves. They don’t want people to be judgy towards them, yet they feel free to judge others. They want a forum where they can have a home to snark on natural parenting, call those forums oppressive in their attitudes and moderation, but they aren’t willing to let natural parenting folks have a safe place for forum– free of their judgments and mind games (which skillfully make it past moderation, plenty).
  • The worst: interference in personal lives. Examples? Women use internet forums looking for help with a situation. Maybe they are having money or relationship troubles. The trolls get close to them at whatever forum they find them. The women are obviously already desperate to even be posting on an internet forum asking for advice from strangers. The trolls send private messages offering to help somehow (“I’ll get you a bus ticket to come stay near me for a while, and get away from that abusive deadbeat. There’s a job waiting for you here.“, etc.). As soon as the victim gives up ANY identifying info (address, full name, kids names, significant other and friends names, personal facebook address, etc.), things take a dark turn. Women get CPS at their door. Sometimes children are removed from them, even if temporarily. Women spend the night in jail from trumped up “concerns”. Others have their small businesses tampered with. Some have had to close due to trolls successfully scaring off all their customers and ruining their reputation. Phony bad reviews are left for people. The list goes on.

The harassment goes well beyond a single forum and begins to follow the victim, whether just on the internet or in real life.

The trolls will have many aliases, sometimes even within the same forum, just to play these games. These come in handy when pretending to be different people or in case of being banned from a forum (which is almost inevitable).

You may say that people with common sense who are careful can never be truly hurt by the trolls. It is fair to say that common sense goes a long way in protection. However, if they take a personal interest in you, they sometimes go to great lengths to keep affecting your life in whatever way they can manage. Despising people also comes quite easily to them. You’re a game and they’re bored. They’re also great “concern trolls”, acting like they care about your issues, your life, your children, and this justifying their interference. When they can be heartlessly cruel in one moment and switch it to pretending to want to help in the next, and when their whole forum was based off of and continues to specialize in hate, the act falls flat.

Some members of TWWS will tell you how great they are. They have helped each other through tragedy. They have helped each other have nice holidays. They have met up in person. They have sent presents. They have braided each other’s hair. Whatever. Everyone has good in them somewhere, and if you’re fortunate enough to see their good side, great for you. Someone else out there was less lucky. Their good does not at all dismiss the very painful negative impact they are having on the world (especially when the good is so selective, and their hate so easy and merciless). You could be the pregnant mom crying at home at the shock of “meeting” them, or the businesswoman closing up shop for good, or the woman finding herself answering authorities while her children sit in a holding room. It’s all wrong and decent people don’t do that to each other. End of story.

They like to say that they aren’t really trolls. The name references something else, and they’re just an innocent forum of smart, sassy women. Right. Maybe there are better ways to feel more happy about your own unsatisfying lives than attacking other women you encounter on the internet. HTH.

Trolls Make Organized Efforts to Stomp Out “Woo”

May 29, 2013
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Whenever something comes out in the birth or parenting world that is critical of medical mainstream practices, the trolls get together and attempt to squash it with brute force.

This time, they have taken on a book. They’ve done this before, but this time it’s The Business of Baby. The Business of Baby is receiving lots of attention in the natural parenting world. As such, Dr. Amy and her accomplices want to tear it apart. We can assume with confidence that none of them have read the book, but despise its intention. This is when they go to Amazon and leave phony book reviews for book subjects which they already and only find contentious.

The following post shows Alexis Coxon, Florence Brun Tirakayos, and Dr. Amy Tuteur leaving their reviews.

When this group of women decides they are against something, they rally all their troops. Then, when the person they’ve targeted asks for aid themselves (from a Facebook page), they get reamed in the reviews for doing that. Funny how these hate groups are allowed to stampede on Facebook to get results, but the author is not allowed to follow suit in her own defense. You will see plenty of other down-rated reviews that make a point to mention this, as if it was morally unacceptable for the author. They come off as tacky instead of making the author look tacky. Not to mention it is blatantly unfair and bully behavior.

Luckily author Jennifer Margulis has a major publisher and lots of good publicity. Her negative reviews hardly put a dent in the positive, due to prominent exposure. Independent authors (and others, such as small business owners) may find they are less fortunate.

If you are perusing natural childbirth or parenting books on Amazon and you happen to see lots of scathing reviews, take it with a grain of salt. They could be coming from internet trolls.

As alluded above, this type of prejudice doesn’t stop with books. Amazon makes it more obvious since they have open reviews (with the exclusivity and class of a highway restroom), but we have heard accounts of women being forced to close their small businesses due to troll interference.  If they decide they don’t like you or your beliefs, they don’t adhere to a live and let live policy. They do not leave people alone. They want to destroy you. Their only point of view is shame on you for writing this book, shame on you for responding to misleading critiques, and unless you agree with me, shame on you for existing. That’s why these are hate groups.

This is why we think you should know their names and backgrounds.

Florence Brun Tirakayos: The Trolls’ Achilles Heel

May 18, 2013
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There is a running joke that every troll alias is Florence Brun Tirakayos. The reason for this is she has the following noticeable traits (which coincidentally plenty of aliases share):

Quirky speech (French is her first language), concern trolling, moral reprimanding, odd grammar and use of capitals/punctuation/spacing. Hold any lengthy conversation or (un)civil debate with Florence and you will also see that she has the tendency to play mind games with her participants. She typically starts off “normal” at first, and then resorts to whatever tactic she thinks will elicit a response. She is capable of jumping all over the place with tone and seems to do so gleefully (as anyone would expect from a true internet troll who toys with people).

Since those descriptions and troll aliases often coincide, and because there is at least an ounce of truth to every joke, could this make Florence a good candidate for the troll of Candace Rice? In the previous post we named Bambi Chapman as the most likely culprit, with Liz Paparella and Heidi Faith also candidates. But check out this post Flo made on Fed Up [was referenced in the previous post].

This is very “Candace”. Very telling who “liked” Florence’s blind vengeance too. Melissa reveals that she doesn’t troll with this name, so it doesn’t matter to her.

Still, even with these traits in common, it seemed more likely that Candace was Bambi. Yet, Flo also was willing to punish anyone involved in making our Master Troll List. The one thing you can count on with Florence is inconsistency of her behavior and a hate for certain types of birth. This is part of why it is so easy to assume she’s behind certain schemes. So many conflicting messages, so hard to know what to trust when the motive and clues point to a few different people.

You can see more examples of Florence’s behavior below.  Despite her obvious flaws, she’s in similar company.

We just watched other alias “Jennifer Ralph” (search our site for more on her) gush over The Skeptical Mother’s appearance, which is something Heidi has done before and is very in her character to continue. Since Heidi has a history of trolling on Fed Up (search Kallie Bloom), this falls right in line with that.

“Jennifer Ralph” did provide the opportunity for Florence and Aleah to come in and strut with feathers fanned to show that Sammy wasn’t worth much next to them. Even if Jennifer Ralph is Heidi, what she started still served Florence. It would be easy to guess that it was Flo who sockpuppeted to fluff her own ego.

About the other commentors

It was very noticeable how Aleah trumpets about accomplishments and brains. Our guess is that she feels she has these in abundance and that people she dislikes do not. She mentions how you can “buy good looks, honey”. Well, it’s funny you should mention that…  (Search for Aleah; sexism)

Anj’s weird comment, about not having met Sammy… yet? This was during a time they were all trying to scare and intimidate her. They didn’t have a coffee date scheduled or anything. It only comes off as threatening.

Due to the conversation above, we’ve added Vanity, Envy, and Pride to our Categories list. Trolls will pick anyone apart and obsess over superficial things, and somehow it always comes back to their own insecurities and shortcomings. Trolls hurt people because they have something to prove, and that something is that they are better than somebody.

Back to Florence:

At this point we fully suspected Florence to be behind the Veil counter activities, and that Candace and Cindy were her aliases.

[UPDATE– an anonymous source told us that Cindy DiFrancisco was more likely behind the harassing.]

Florence talks. A lot. That gives us plenty of opportunity to recognize her unique voice much clearer, and her personality shows through more with every word. Then, there’s this.
This picture was removed from Lifting the Veil’s FB page. It was done so successfully because the person making the complaint was the owner of the comment. Nevermind that the owner was on a public forum using people’s full names to harass and intimidate! Our version was at least the censored version to protect the victims of bullying. Still, since we know the complaint came from Florence and since the only trolls bothering us lately have been Candace, Cindy, and the anti-LTV blogs/page, it seemed the one common denominator in all this (Florence).

What you need to know about Flo
Florence is a weak spot for the trolls. She doesn’t let things go where they would. She has too many numerous personas and even the other trolls aren’t sure when they can trust her or not. When her sockpuppet aliases get insulted, she feels personally insulted too. She craves belonging. She feels left out of a lot of the Raptor games and jokes. She looks up to several of them, namely Aleah, immediately copying things they say such as nicknames for enemies (ex: Sammoo and Lizzie, for TSM and ISOTPB).

Florence’s whole motto would be: Notice me. Everything she does within and for her groups is for recognition or to be noticed. Think of her as like the nagging little sister who constantly talks or tugs on your clothes to get attention. If she doesn’t get the desired result, she might dress up as somebody else as a disguise and start blowing things up in the backyard. She is constantly running her mouth and not able to keep things secretive (even if they would benefit her group). In some ways her behavior is unpredictable, unreliable. She is a liability for them.

If you see a troll being sloppy or out of control and they are attempting to be anonymous, consider that it might be Florence.

About Candace: She (“Candace”, “Cindy”) also shares info with us such as how Aleah and Sara Rose are really hurting by our project and are only pretending to not care, and that Sara Savel is the one to blame for sleuthing TSM’s info and passing it around. She shared screenshots from private messages from the trolls showing how they were scared of our project. She pointed us to new names we were not aware of and allowed us to connect aliases we previously thought were separate people.  “Candace” has actually been a pretty helpful informant.


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    The opinions expressed here through observation and experience are protected by free speech.