In March 2011, a certain person published a long entry about me on her blog. It was basically one huge long character assassination, filled with cherry-picked quotes taken out of context from my own blog, exaggerations, distortions and occasional outright lies. I didn’t even read the entry for months, not wanting to subject myself to what I knew was going to be an unpleasant experience, but my friends let me know the gist of what was said.
I do not want to say her name on this blog. Chances are many of you already know who she is anyway. This blogger’s post does, unfortunately, show up on the first page of the Google search results every time someone searches for “Charley Project.”
Since then the blogger has written a few other posts about me. Eventually I did read that first, long one and I might have read one or two of her subsequent posts about me, I’m not sure. I have better things to do with my time.
This woman also sometimes makes appearances in the comments section of news articles about the Charley Project. She says some things about my website that are awful and completely untrue. Not opinion-type stuff, not things that are open to interpretation, but things which are 100% either a fact or not a fact. She just makes stuff up.
This person’s intention is, I believe, to undermine my credibility and, therefore, the Charley Project’s credibility. I don’t believe she’s been able to make a serious dent in my reputation, though. It’s pretty obvious to unbiased people that this person has a personal vendetta against me and is not trying to act in the public interest as she claims.
A few years after she wrote that first blog entry about me, one summer night when I couldn’t sleep, I decided to write a response to that first blog entry she wrote. I never published this response but I did show it to various friends of mine, privately. I had a lot of fun writing it, actually. It’s over 20 pages long, but a lot of that is quotes from her. Starting at the top, I pulled a quote from the entry and then responded to it, then moved on down the page, found another quote, responded to that one, and so on.
I know that this woman occasionally goes back and makes changes to that original entry (for example, in her initial posting I think she said I lived in Texas, a state which I have never even visited, but that claim later got removed). But I haven’t re-read the entry since I wrote my response to it in the summer of 2014, and so my response is probably a little out of date now. But I have no reason to think the blogger has made significant changes in what she has said about me.
Tonight I got a whim: why not publish that response I wrote? So I did, in PDF form.
I wasn’t aware of this woman. I went and read her rant and she seems obsessive and unbalanced to me. I’m glad writing a reasonable rebuttal made you feel better, but frankly I doubt she’s worth a whole lot more attention. Reading in between the lines, her parents managed to do a number on her and she’s been unable to recover and move on. None of this actually has anything to do with you, as you recognize.
I can understand the desire to respond, but Charley Project speaks for itself. I would let future attacks go unanswered.
If she goes back and changes things then I wish she’d correct her atrocious spelling! She must not have remembered “i before e except after c…”
I vaguely remember her fixation and agree with drycamp.
It appears she actually dislikes you even more than her alleged abusive father.
I didn’t see any new entries since around 2011 by her. Is she still actively blogging anywhere? Haven’t read your pdf yet.
From what I read on her blog, she would benefit greatly from therapy.
The spelling was a lot worse in her initial posting. She called my website a “missing persons web bog.”
Brilliant rebuttal. I hope she reads it
I started reading the PDF, had to stop because felt sick to my stomach. Jennifer is a disgusting, vicious individual. I wonder what else she is doing to other people in her life. She criticizes you being “obsessed” with Charley Project (which you pretty much need to be in order to run it as well as you do), but she is totally obsessed with you and your illnesses! I hope that one day she gets a life and stops harassing people.
The “Another one bites the dust” thing did sound a little insensitive, but then I remembered you have Asperger’s and it made perfect sense. Mine is fortunately very mild, but occasionally, I’ll still say something that’s meant to be perfectly innocent but is actually offensive, and I don’t realize my mistake until a friend/relative pulls me aside to gently explain why my statement was inappropriate. Those awkward moments are just part of the Aspie life.
I wouldn’t worry about the blog post, even if it shows up on Google’s front page. Anyone who goes through The Charley Project sees how much time and effort you put into it and that you’re basically doing a public service. Catherine’s right; let your work speak for itself.
As Taylor Swift would say, the haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate
first i would like to say i find the charley project to be an invaluable resource that is also impeccably researched. i refer to it constantly- and i do check the information on my own. you are unfailingly accurate and fact based.
although i understand why you would wish to defend yourself in this situation i find it unnecessary- from my view point of someone who relies on and trusts the information you supply. the tirades she has aimed at you personally have all the characteristics of misplaced anger-indeed of outright rage- that is more accurately directed at the parent that abducted her and even no doubt the custodial parent she was taken from. a wounded , angry child is lashing out- as often happens even in adulthood- at someone unrelated to their chaotic, stifled emotions at the real confusing wrong done to them. confronting the actual sources of their rage is just too threatening psychologically. ( and alienating a parent is just too emotionally charged for the children even when grown in such situations.).
you certainly have done nothing to warrant such treatment. i would think any child put through a family abduction has a right to their anger, their hurt, their pain however they have no right to project it on to uninvolved people who are only reporting truths and facts that are public knowledge. her concerns and her pain would be better addressed to her parents and to a therapist or spiritual advisor so she can heal.
That’s creepy she found out Michael’s full name, she must’ve really dug deep into your blog or something, but what’s crazy and nice is that you’ve been with him since 16. Wow, that’s a lot of years, and super rare for a relationship that began in the teens to continue like this. You must be very blessed! Do you two plan to get married and have a family one day?
Marriage yes. Kids no. I don’t really like them, I don’t think I would make a good mother, and I don’t want to pass my bipolar disorder down the generations.
FWIW, I don’t know you or anyone involved with Charley personally. I am, however, a frequent visitor to the site and have been for years, and I frequent the blog as well. Thus, I feel that I have an overall understanding of how you decide what info makes it onto the site and also what justifications you use to determine how any piece of info should be added or rejected.
I have always found your decisions to be particularly objective. IMHO, the Asbergers (sp?) you have might allow you to practice more objectivity than those without. You’ve explained your criteria as it applies to what information is added and what is not, and you have proven that you abide by your personal criteria. This is your site. You created, grew, and maintain it and thus the criteria and guidelines you practice are your own and justified.
In reading through the blog posts of this person, I’ve decided to look carefully into every accusation she has made and try to either validate the accusation or disprove it. Now, in saying this, I don’t mean to commit to researching every statement made by this blogger. Instead, what I will counter are any statements that she makes about things Meghan has apparently said/done/alluded to/demonstrated online via Charley Project or the blog.
I wanted to address them in one post, but that is proving difficult because the accusations are varied, scattered, and even so grammatically incorrect that I’m having a hard time identifying the true complaints. I can’t provide arguments to support/contradict any statement if I cannot translate the statement to begin with.
I’m going to give it a try, though. Hopefully my dissemination will help a new reader understand the accusations and arguments against, and will help them to come to their own informed conclusion. Because of the sheer number of accusations (and the grammatical issues in finding them in that blog post), this will take some time. I may only address one or two issues at a time. But I definitely will analyze every one of them, and in an objective manner(so if the blogger sees this, I want you to know that I am considering every comment and accusation you’ve made in an objective manner, and if you have additional info to share with me that you please do so).
This is really long, sorry, but I needed to get it out.
I approached this entire “discussion” with an open mind, looking at the accusations made by Jennifer, and considering each point and looking for corroborating evidence in the Charley Project blog posts and the Charley Project entries themselves.
I am known as a very objective person and even though I’ve been an avid reader of Charley Project for several years, I took every complaint voiced by Jennifer into account. I searched for justification of her claims, I gave her much leeway and the “benefit of the doubt” repeatedly.
I won’t address every claim she makes; the admin’s 23 page document does a very thorough job of that. Instead, I’ll share my suspicion as to the possible cause and justification of her behavior.
Disclaimer: my comments are NOT personal attacks; rather, these are my (uneducated) guesses as an “armchair psychologist” and should not be given any weight in any way. In other words, my opinion only.
So here’s what I think. This woman (Jennifer) was abducted by her mother (this part is legally valid and indisputable). I make no assumptions as to why she was abducted, or which parent (if either) was in the wrong emotionally, physically, legally, whatever. What we know is the child was taken and hidden, illegally per the law, by her mother for years.
Now here is where the conjecture comes in to play, and is the crux of my point. It’s not easy to hide a child (and yourself) legally. Every step you take is crucial, every time you fill out a piece of paper or meet a new person, you’re always lying. Always.
Those of us who haven’t lived that life cannot even guess how that is. But it permeates your being. Your whole existence is a lie, and you as a child are told what to do and how to do it by the parent who put you in this position. Every single day. It’s not an easy life to live, and so on the many days when you, as a child, question your mother as to why you have to move again, or why you can’t invite friends to a sleepover, or why you can’t play softball, she can’t tell you it’s because she did something wrong. She can’t tell you that your whole existence is a lie because of something she did,
She has to make up stories about how “other people” did something wrong and thus you’re in this situation. Every little thing you asked about or wanted to do as a child and were told you couldn’t, was blamed on anything besides her actions. Did you want to play softball but mom told you that you couldn’t? She probably blamed that on someone else. Did you ever ask to see your dad? She had to give you a reason, and it couldn’t be the truth, so maybe she told you he was in jail, or didn’t care, or was dead. Did she abruptly pull you out of school one day to a waiting car filled with your belongings and told you that we have to move? If you asked why, did she tell you it was because she had you illegally? Or did she blame it on someone, anyone else? Did you ask to have a sleepover for your birthday? Maybe she told you that the landlord didn’t allow it. I could go on…but I think you know that I’m describing so many situations of your childhood.
I don’t deny that this must have been a sad and difficult upbringing for you. I’m not in any way challenging your mother’s parenting skills or her ability to be a good mother to you, in your eyes. I don’t doubt thy she took (and still takes) wonderful care of you. But I want you to consider how your circumstances might have led you to lash out at Meagan.
**This is what these actions have caused you to do: anything you perceive to be difficult or in disagreement with you MUST be blamed on someone else. Anyone else. Every hardship you encountered as a kid that was due to your abduction was blamed on SOMEONE ELSE and never your or your mother’s fault.
In your childhood, anything that was difficult for you was blamed on others. Every challenge you had, every time you moved, any time you asked about your dad, any time ANYTHING wasn’t normal, it was blamed on someone else. So now, you have frustrations (some of which have nothing to do with you personally or your case), and you take every one of them out on the Charley Project admin.
I don’t blame you for having these thoughts. I can’t imagine having grown up in a web of lies. I can see how you may struggle to separate assaults against you personally versus things you simply don’t agree with but that don’t have anything to do with you. I do hope that you can find a way to focus your energy in a way that will reap more rewards. Attacking this admin/blogger isn’t helping anyone and isn’t a constructive use of your time. There are many organizations that could benefit from your perseverance and drive, and I hope you seek one out and make your mark in a positive way.
I’m sorry you went through what you did (I’m not implying that your mom mistreated you; I fully believe that she took care of you and is good to you, no judgement here in that respect)? I just hope you can take your experiences, the best and worst, and do good for kids and teens who could use your help.
I don’t know why, but this issue has really got me upset for you. I just submitted a response on her blog, it’s waiting for approval and I doubt it will be posted, so I wanted to copy my response here for you to see. My comment was in response to her post where she attempts to show that you are “mentally ill”. Here goes:
“These comments you present are…I’m not sure if this description can portray the extent of it, but…heavily edited and misplaced. Please don’t stop reading, though. I agree with you in some ways.
As for your comments, I read them twice, trying to see how these examples validated your point. I even had to go back to the top to see what your original point was. I see now, your point was to demonstrate that the admin for Charley Project is mentally ill.
While there are some concerning things in the quotes you’ve provided, I cannot see how any of us (including you and even licensed psychiatrists who are reading this and have never seen the target in a clinical setting) can definitively take the leap of making any type of clinical diagnosis of any particular mental illness.
And even if so, I cannot see how this finding affects her posts about your case…namely, any mental illness she may have has no bearing at all on the publicly available records pertaining to your case. The judge isn’t going to go back and reverse his judgments just because some mentally ill blogger made a post, years after his ruling, about your family’s case.
This type of “jumping to conclusions” (and/or making a professional diagnosis with only sparse facts and a lack of the proper experience and education required to make such a diagnosis) is exactly what you’ve accused this woman of doing.
She was doing her normal job, adding entries to her website. She came across your case, and she had only the published and available info about your case to use as a source for creating an entry about your case. It is well known that you dispute the public findings…but why should you expect her to as well? Because you said so? She didn’t know anything about you other than what was a matter of public record, and she objectively entered that info in your case file.
Even if you’re right (that your dad was horribly abusive and your mom HAD to take you away, which I don’t dispute and actually believe was the case), this woman chose to not make assumptions other than what public records attested to. It’s an incredible shame that the judge was such a jackass and totally rejected any argument your mother made,
I do believe that. But Meagan wasn’t there, didn’t know you or your family, and relied as she does (and should) on publicly available info. Info which sometimes, we find out later, is incorrect. But that problem is not to be carried on the shoulders of the person who shares that info. Rather, the responsibility lies solely with the court that made the incorrect findings.
I’ve read this blog thoroughly, and I see that you’ve taken any information you can glean from the website she runs and her blog (which are two separate things BTW) and have made serious leaps in your desire to draw conclusions.
You are doing the exact same thing that you accuse her of doing.
Before you cry out “but, but, but, my situation is different/she didn’t go through what I did/ she doesn’t understand/etc”…
Please acknowledge that she never once has publicly compared her situation, life, or issues with yours. She never makes that claim, in any way. At least not that I’ve seen, and if you have evidence to the contrary, I’ll look at it objectively. I promise. I cannot accept paraphrasing or vague attributions, but instead exact quotes from this woman that indicate that she has ever compared her issues or experiences to your life specifically.
That woman is not out to ruin you, not out to get you, not voluntarily disparaging your family…none of that. She’s presenting evidence that she deems to be appropriate, using sources that she is comfortable with. You are no different.
I believe that you and your family have clearly been through traumatic experiences, and I firmly believe that you (and your mom and brother, if they choose) can really help out kids who may be in the same situation or who are forced to “come home”. You can focus your energy and drive in a way that helps people. Attacking Meagan does nothing for anyone. Seriously, it doesn’t.”
What really pissed me off was one of her blogs where she claimed I said that because of my mental illness, I was not responsible for the things I had said about her family.
Of course, never in my life have I have I made such a statement. She couldn’t even produce a single quote of mine to twist around and take out of context and whatnot and make it LOOK like I said that.
More to the point, I take PRIDE in taking full responsibility for everything I do and say: unless they’re seriously psychotic, a person is still responsible in my mind. I would never use my mental illness as an excuse for bad behavior. And I take full responsibility for everything I said about the Collins family and I don’t believe it constitutes bad behavior in any case.
I think I should also say that, though I have no hard evidence of this, I’m not 100% sure that it’s Jennifer herself who wrote all that stuff about me. Other people raised this possibility, and I know for a fact that Holly Collins has impersonated her daughter before. Not that it makes any difference, practically speaking, but I wanted to bring it up.