From mgscheue@oakland.eduThu Apr 11 20:11:02 1996
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 1996 10:52:21 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Mark G. Scheuern"

> I just checked out your page.

Heh! While I certainly do feel some anger about the way I've been treated, I tried to be fair in my account of the events (unlike certain other people).

> I thought Barton was just a remote staffer--I had no idea she was
> actually a paid employee.

Like I posted this morning, I can see how you would think that, particularly given the contents of her posts. I think it would be odd for even a remote staffer to make such strange, childish posts. That a paid staffer is doing it--the Producer of the Internet Connection--I find completely baffling. I have no doubt that AOL doesn't appreciate her defending the company in such a highschool-like manner. I suppose that, at this point, I shouldn't be too surprised by strange and unprofessional behavior from her, but I still am at times.

> Also, this excerpt was particularly low.

Yes, I think so. It certainly gives a very distorted view of events, and I'm at a loss to explain why she put this on her web page.

> I wanted to ask *you* what happened....

Glad to help.

> My MAIN question is what's this about "being a perv" in comunications?

The first thing to understand is that she's not being entirely straight in characterizing me as a "member of the viewing public" (and is it just me, or is that just a tad egotistical?). Cathy Buzzell ("barton") and I were very good friends. She was one of my best friends and I think she thought the same of me. Not boyfriend/girlfriend by any means (she has a bf, or at least did the last time we had contact, and I have a gf). It was a very close friendship. Anyway, to be brief, she made some comments in November that I was being too "pervy". I have no idea--I don't think I was and I asked her to be more specific so I could try to work it out with her. In any event, it was no big deal and we did in fact pretty much get it worked out. I had made a comment about her, in private, that was very similar to one she made about me on her web page, and for some reason that bugged her at that specific moment. Okay. That she's sometimes rather pervy herself is probably apparent from her web page, but people perceive things differently and have their bad moments. I can't claim that I didn't say something that bothered her, but it was very minor and I think it's easy to image something far worse from what she says about it.

> I am being harrassed by a member of the viewing public. I'm not talking
> the occasional e-mail that is slightly annoying. I am talking about an
> all-out assault--at work, at home, and online.
> [What does she mean, "at home"?]

I don't understand that either. Maybe she was at home when she read her email? It makes it sound like I visited her. I didn't even call her. This "all-out" assault stuff is not true, either. I don't feel too bad in calling it a lie, because I don't know what else to call it. It should be obvious that I don't find much merit in anything that she says here. I wouldn't be telling people to look at it if I did.

> He's posted to newsgroups, message boards at my work, mailed letters to my
> boss and other employees of the company where I work, continuously pages
> me on IRC, e-mails--you name it. It has gotten so out of hand that I've
> visited the police, who have let me know that as soon as I'm ready I can
> press charges against him for telephone abuse and harrassment.
> [What's this about the police? What is she thinking?!]

Yes, this is really strange. I can't imagine what she would have told them. I'm sure that, if in fact she did go to the police, saying "you name it" in response to the question "what did he do to you?" didn't exactly cut it. She's bragged that she's talked with the police and I'm wanted in three states (no, I don't understand the "three states" either). This was months ago and I haven't so much as gotten a phone call about it, so she either didn't go to the police or did and was told to go away. Oh yes, she also said that she went to AOL's legal staff. Again, no one from AOL has contacted me.

What she conveniently ignores here, of course is that the only reason why I contacted people at AOL to report her behavior was because she carried out actions against me as an AOL staffer. Had she not taken her personal problems, legitimate or not, into the workplace I would not have done that. As it was I made every effort to be fair.

> I was surprised at how ready they were to act on electronic harrassment
> (they think of it as a telephone call). I might also get to play with some
> brand-new stalker laws. Yes, kids, when you tell someone not to contact
> you, and they continue to do so in a frightening manner until you're sure
> they're lurking around your house ready to kill you in your sleep, they
> are breaking the law.
> [Two questions: what was frightening? And did she ask you not to
> contact her?]

I don't know what was frightening. I sure as hell never threatened her, in contrast to her threats against me. Being worried about my killing her in her sleep is weird beyond comprehension. I can't get inside her head and tell you whether or not she was truly frightened or thinks that it makes for a good story for her "viewing public", but I never did anything to deserve her making these statements about me and wish that she had made some effort at resolving matters in a mature manner instead of going nuts. It was frightening and sad. I frequently find myself spending more time feeling sorry for her than I do being angry.

She did ask me not to contact her. Then she wrote to me making these strange accusations about my trying to break into AOL, said I could answer her (which I did, stating clearly that this was not the case and she shoud calm down a bit), then continued her actions against me at AOL. I believe I may have written to her a couple of times after that trying to get her to listen to reason (understand--she had been my friend for a long time and I didn't think this was out of hand. Perhaps I was wrong). I sent her a "Merry Christmas" and her response was to write to my provider and tell them that I was harassing her. They took no action when I explained. Again, you could argue that I was wrong to send her a note and I wouldn't disagree. And a week or so ago I sent her another "hi" and got no response. To say that I harassed her, however, is completely false. I wanted to clear things up with my problems at AOL-- problems which have continued, btw--and made a clearly misguided effort to be friendly and try to resolve things. I won't deny that I was angry at times, and continue to be, but her description of events is, I believe, deliberately misleading.

> How did this start? Most cases don't spring up randomly. This started
> because I asked this person not to be such a perv in his communications to
> me. He was upset about it, and he didn't seem to want to accept that I
> didn't feel comfortable being talked to that way. He wouldn't back off, so
> I told him not to contact me anymore. He, of course, contacted me far more
> than I wanted to be contacted, despite my wishes, so I was forced to take
> action against him. C'est la vie--there are a lot of nuts out there.
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
> What kind of action did she take against you?

I suppose she's talking about going to the police and AOL. You'll note that she hasn't made any more entries to brag further about this. It'll be interesting to see what her reaction to the post I made this morning will be. I don't have any reason to think that what I posted was wrong or abusive.

Threats against critics - the AOL way
AOL's conspiracy theorist
Netizens react to Time's article
Return to Main page

Send comments to All comments are assumed for publication.