Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fifteen Years of Cyberstalking

Note:  This is probably going to be an evolving article.  The purpose is to document the behavior of someone who is engaged in harassment against me.  I have added to it several times already.  If you are interested, check back regularly.  If not, well, just ignore it.

About fifteen years ago, I was recovering from my first failed attempt at transition.  I am not going to go into a lot of detail, but I made several mistakes, mainly rushing into transition, and I had a very poor excuse for a therapist who failed to pick up on a number of issues I was struggling with.  When, as some call them, external pressures got to be too much, I fled back to, as I have put it, "the devil I knew."

It took me seven years to work through it all.  During that time, I discovered a newsgroup with the ironic name  I say ironic because it was anything but supportive.  The group was largely terrorized by a group of bullies that included a person who used the name Cheryl, and another who posted as Diane.  They were commonly referred to as "The Sisters of Transsexual Purity" because they would attack anyone who was not, in their judgement, 100% committed to SRS, and progressing at a pace that met their rather stringent standards. 

The really ironic part was, neither was post-op, as they claimed.  The truth about Cheryl came out after that person was found dead in front of their computer.  Someone from the sheriff's department used instant messaging in an attempt to get information, and the person contacted let the newsgroup know that this person had died.

Diane, aka Diane Arons, whose real name is Diane Arons Lask had a rather long history of bullying and cyberstalking that began on FidoNet, if not earlier.  For those too young to remember, FidoNet is a network of computer bulletin board systems that was sort of a predecessor of the Internet.  It is not very popular in the United States these days, but is still in existence, and is more commonly used in Russia and former republics of the USSR.  FidoNet was primarily through the phone system.  A BBS would call an uplink hub and exchange outgoing messages for incoming ones.  It might take a few days for a posting in forum to reach everyone.  It was one of several such "echo net" programs available.  

One of the features of FidoNet is forums, which were sort of like mailing lists or Usenet groups.  And one of the forums on FidoNet was for the discussion of gender issues and Lask was very much a presence there.  And was certainly one of the reasons FidoNet was jokingly called Fight-o-Net.

I didn't access the gender forum on FidoNet because I had not transitioned, and did not want friends to know my medical situation.  If you were on a BBS, it was very easy for the sysop to tell what forums you participated in.

FidoNet was where Lask first encountered a person who called himself Laura Masters (later Laura Blake).  Blake was a transgender extremist from Canada who developed quite a reputation for opposing SRS, and claiming to have "jumped the gurney" on the way to having it.  How much of this was true was never really certain, but Lask developed an major obsession with Blake that would be a driving force in his life for many years.

Now, there is no question that Blake contributed to the whole mess.  Shoot, I will admit to taking more than a few potshots at Blake, who spent a great deal of time attacking transsexuals and trying to pressure people into being "woman-males" to use his term.  Of course, now, the drivel pushed by Blake has become a large part of the transgender dogma, and ironically, Lask seems to have adopted this view as well.

Actually, to be honest, it is never really clear exactly what Lask believes.  Over the years, Lask has attacked, and then sided with, a number of people.  For example, he viciously attacked "Willow" Arune, a notorious online kook, and then took to defending him.  The same was true of a several others.  

The weird thing with Lask is I actually have met this person.  Several years ago, after he stopped harassing me, he contacted me and explained that he had been homeless for some time.  He had been staying in Nevada, and wanted to return to San Francisco and wanted to know if he could sleep on my floor for a period.  Now, I tend to be a forgiving, and compassionate person, and I agreed.  Lask stayed for several days, before moving in with a post-op who, ironically, had responded to a person ad I had placed, even though I an a straight woman.  This person was apparently some sort of trans fan, who preferred transsexuals as partners.  I was not interested, but did seek to interest that person in the research project where I was volunteering at the time.

When I met Lask, one of the more bizarre facts I learned was that this supposed paragon of transsexualism actually had a history with a group originally known as Educational TV Channel (EDTVC) in San Francisco.  It is now known as TransGender SF or TGSF.

Lask turned on me when he decided, rather suddenly, that the group should be abandoned to the kooks like Arune.  I declined to agree to that idea, and Lask disappeared for a while.  Then there were suddenly someone appeared posting through an anonymous remailer and attacking me.  Those postings seemed to be Lask's styles, but at first I was not completely sure it was him.  Finally, he made reference to some things that only Lask could have known, and it was obvious that Lask had adopted me as a replacement for Blake.

Lask became increasingly abusive, and it was about this time that he suddenly began to defend Arune, and at least one other person he had rather viciously attacked.  I became the sole object of his attention, though he did occasionally check up on Blake (who had withdrawn from the Internet entirely to escape Lask) and provided "updates."  

BTW, at one time, Blake was posting claims about Lask's harassment that many took at either fiction, or delusional.  Now, I wonder, as i have been the victim of similar attacks.

A few years ago, Lask mounted a massive cyberbullying attack on me.  He sent anonymous emails to several transgender activists urging them to contact my employer in an effort to cause me grief.  He basically bragged about this on

One of Lask's main tactics is to do extensive online research on a target.  He will scour Google looking for anything he can exploit.  I have learned to be very circumspect about what I allow to be posted online, and, thankfully, Lask does not know a lot about my current life.  Of course, it can be a constant battle.  Changes in Facebook security allowed him to find my daughter, for example.  He then found a blog post she had written about ten years ago, at a time when we were estranged.  As I have said elsewhere, I will not do what Lask did, and invade my daughter's privacy by revealing details, but suffice to say, we are no longer estranged and are very close.  She was very upset at being used as a weapon against me, and was furious that Mr. "Autumn" Sandeen tried to contact her.

After finding a mention about me on my church's website, he made a similar effort to attack me through my church, mistakenly thinking I was then employed there.  I found out about this when Suzan Cooke wrote about having received one, and to Cooke's credit, declined to participate.  On the other hand, Mr. "Autumn" Sandeen was chose to take up Lask's suggestion and I wrote about it here

Lask has always had a tendency to come and go.  Even when he is active, there is an odd pattern of several days of almost continuous attacks, almost around the clock, followed by a period when he falls silent.  Well, he had disappeared for some time...until recently.

The first sign that Lask was back was, as is often the case, not completely obvious.  A person started posting in the comments section of Mr. Sandeen's column on LGBT Weekly under the name "Jenna."  At first this person seemed to be a "radical feminist," and even seemed to be disagreeing with Mr. Sandeen.  Then, after I made a comment in support of something he said, he attacked me.  The person's statements were very inconsistent.  Then, over time, it became obvious that this was not only a troll, but was Lask.

The person calling himself "Jenna" repeatedly denied being Lask, but then suddenly, every message where I mentioned "Diane Lask" was deleted.  Yeah, sure it wasn't Lask.  Uh huh, yeah....  Oh, and he is back at it again, trying to imply that he is another troll from Usenet.  No one ever said Lask was very bright...

Since that time, Lask has used the name "Jenna Smith" to access my LinkedIn profile, and has impersonated me on several web sites, as well as using the names of my ex, and my daughter.  He has also apparently created a twitter account using my photo.

This person is a a seriously mentally ill person, and to be honest, there obsession makes me feel rather threatened.  While he has been careful to never say anything that could be taken as a physical threat, a person who is this obsessed can easily turn violent.  So, I am taking this opportunity, knowing that he reads this blog to say to the person using the name Diane Arons Lask, that I am demanding that he cease his harassment.

I realize this is an unusual post, but the primary purpose is to go on the record concerning this person, to comply with a provision of California state law requiring that I inform the person to cease harassing me, and to insure that anyone doing a Google search for Diane Lask will see this information.

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