My Side Of The Story
by Tim Brown

(Updated 8/2009)

I started this piece in 2002 because of online harassment against me at the time. I was deeply hurt by what happened, and I want to take up as little space as possible with this, so I'm gonna make it simple.

The harassment dates back to 6th grade in 1984, as I discuss in my book The Fight That Never Ends. This page, however, deals mostly with the harassment that started at school being dragged onto the Internet by assholes from school who had nothing better to do with their wasted lives than e-mail Internet idiots with stupid made-up crap about me.

I cannot tell a lie: I did post some stuff I'm sorry for now. I was at wit's end by 1996 after being pushed around by the school system, and the Internet seemed like a perfect place to let off steam. Nonetheless, what I posted was far less inflammatory than what was directed at me or wrongly ascribed to me.

You've heard a lot of lies and complete bullshit about me, and I have to set the record straight. Each item is in red, and my response is in green. (Full message ID's are not given, because they're stalker bait.)

Did you post racist crap in another country's forum?

No. I've been a progressive populist since I was a teenager, and I wouldn't and couldn't post garbage like that. I had even been attacked by neo-Nazis locally because I opposed them. I immediately exposed this post as a forgery originating at an Australian ISP. The post falsely attributed to me is 4mp..@news.bekkers.com.au (1996). My post refuting it is 4ms..@newsbf02.news.aol.com (1996).

Did you hack an enemy's ISP and knock it offline?

No. A post alleging this is 5l4..@nyx10.cs.du.edu (1997). The alleged attack was on 4/14/97. The ISP in question was offline - because of their own incompetence, not because it was hacked. My list of road trips shows I was on a trip to Charlotte, NC, at the time and could not have hacked his system. (ontheroad.html)

Is the man who accused you of hacking his ISP a racist and a bigot?

Yes. Before and during his 8-year campaign of attacking me on the Internet, this man (who is extremely arrogant) posted racist and other bigoted material. Examples of this include 4cs..@bigblue.oit.unc.edu (1996) and 101..@irys.nyx.net (2002). Some question the authenticity of one bigoted post appearing under his name, although it seemingly originated at his ISP. This post is 348..@nyx.net (1997).

Did that man attack members of your family?

Yes. Example: 5jm..@nyx10.cs.du.edu (1997)

Did you once post under a pseudonym to call out the attacker?

I did indeed, in E9H..@iglou.com (1997). I only did it once, and my adversary looked incredibly stupid in the end. This was accepted 'Net etiquette, as I wasn't claiming to act in a formal, professional capacity.

Did you erase others' public Internet posts?

Yes! I did! Why? Uh, when the BI goes over 20, it's spam. Simple. Some of these spams were crossposted to 30 groups and attacked me, so of course I erased them. The same people who grumbled about how I was doing this had previously deleted my messages for being posted on only 2 groups, so they have no business complaining.

Did you send abusive e-mail with an NKU account?

No. This was alleged in 909..@iris.nyx.net (1998). When NKU got Internet access, I was no longer a student and wasn't entitled to an account. The inflammatory e-mails in question were sent to me from the alleged recipient - not the other way around. I was on campus on several occasions around that time - to meet up with my friends and to look into returning to school - and I did use the computers in the library to look up books and websites. But I wasn't on campus on the days when the e-mails were allegedly sent.

Did you post vulgar public messages with an NKU account?

Again, no. The posts in question - which include 6cf..@nnrp1.dejanews.com (1998) - were written by somebody else. These posts came from AOL, but somebody modified the IP numbers so they would appear to be posted from the library at NKU, for DejaNews (unlike Google) honored requests to change IP numbers. Later I discovered many of them were posted in the middle of the night, when the library wasn't open!

Do people seriously think I broke into the library at midnight just to make strange, vulgar posts?

I absolutely defended the real author of those posts on the grounds of free speech. I didn't notice how inflammatory some of his other posts were. I eventually came to my senses and issued an apology for defending him. My apology is 40c..@news.individual.de (2004).

Was The Last Word modified by opponents?

Yes. Before the takeover by Google, DejaNews honored requests to modify messages. Evidently, somebody forged my name onto requests to modify some Last Word posts. In addition there were some printed and faxed copies around at some point in which somebody had made unauthorized changes in an effort to make me look bad, and I was in no position at the time to do anything about it. Apparently some fakes were mailed to totally disinterested parties.

Did you abuse an anonymous remailer?

No. In 1998-99 there were hundreds of anonymous posts - including 199..@replay.com (1998) - that my enemies blamed on both me and another person. They failed to explain how 2 individuals who lived miles apart could be posting the same message. Again, my list of road trips proves I was out of town when many of the posts appeared and could not have posted them. (ontheroad.html) Furthermore, the biggest culprit in this ploy later publicly admitted impersonating me using the anonymous remailer. His confession is 37f..@news.earthlink.net (1999). He later backpedaled by claiming this was a false confession designed to goad one of my defenders. This man also acknowledged he was convicted and imprisoned for a serious crime but cried that he was innocent.

Did you defend a known child porn collector?

No. I would not defend anyone who is known to collect kiddie porn.

Here's the story about that man: Some folks on the Internet who I didn't get along with claimed this guy had admitted to collecting child porn. I didn't believe them, because they had cried wolf so many times. I was wrong. I then found out this man had in fact admitted being a child porn collector. When I discovered this, I posted a hasty series of messages denouncing him. I later deleted all my messages in that forum from that time, because they were stalker bait.

Inexplicably, some people just can't leave it alone (even though I've rarely posted in "their" forum since 1999), so they've reposted one of these messages out of context in their FAQ on this man and used it to attack me. Why, I don't know, because I don't support this man, and they're just hurting their cause by assailing me. In another article, however, they admit that I oppose child porn.

Some of my enemies from that time actually did support this guy, by the way.

I strongly oppose any form of exploitation and abuse of children. Anyone who claims otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about.

Did one of your enemies try to pick up under-aged teenagers?

Yes. He was 30 at the time, and he posted a message in a teen personals forum seeking a teenage female for "dirty fun": 6cb..@newsd-131.iap.bryant.webtv.net (1998). He also responded to a personal in that forum from a "young teen female": 6ct..@newsd-132.iap.bryant.webtv.net (1998). He later announced he was involved with an under-aged girl: 147..@newsd-141.iap.bryant.webtv.net (1999).

Did one of your enemies support NAMBLA?

Yes. His excuse was that NAMBLA "raises some interesting issues."

Were your enemies neo-Nazis?

Some were, and one of them planned on being a legislative assistant to racist David Duke. (www.onepeoplesproject.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=47&Itemid=29)

Inexplicably, some people who at first I didn't get along with later professed to be not right-wing at all. I have no idea why people who purported to oppose fascism got on my case, but it was probably because of all the phony crap that was posted under my name. They also tried to justify their actions by claiming different rules apply on the Internet than in real life, an argument I find absurd. After the Great War of 1998-99 they calmed down considerably, however.

What happened at NKU in September 1998?

I didn't do a fucking thing. Some dickhead decided to accuse me of something I didn't do and make a false police report. In the eyes of my detractors, I'm considered guilty even though I can prove my innocence. I didn't get in any real trouble though, because the cops knew the accuser was full of shit.

Have you ever used an adult Internet forum?

Who the fuck cares? Why should it matter if a grown man reads a list used by other adults his age? One thing is for certain is that I've never posted anything truly creepy like my enemies have. Especially in public forums, a lot of people have a hard time distinguishing between tongue-in-cheek posts and serious messages, so if someone doesn't get one of my jokes, that's too bad. I've also never tried to pick up minors, as my enemies have.

Did you consistently post under a fake name?

No. The posts wrongly attributed to me were 36e..@netnews.worldnet.att.net, 36f..@netnews.worldnet.att.net (1999), and others. Most of those posts were from Worldnet, and I never had an account there. There were 2 real users with those names - only one of whom used the same ISP that I used. My enemies couldn't possibly understand that an ISP could have more than one customer who disagreed with them, so they claimed we were the same person. The Worldnet posts were from the same guy who impersonated me with the anonymous remailer.

Did your enemies post your street address and phone number?

Yes, and they posted the addresses, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers of others who dared to disagree with them. They abused an anonymous remailer to post an address I no longer used: 199..@replay.com (1998). They also posted the address of a different Tim Brown in my area who had lost a lawsuit, because they thought he was me.

This backfired on them badly. One user who saw these gnawing shenanigans observed, "It would appear that Mr. Brown must be a fine upstanding citizen who is being harassed by a libeller who fears to make his name or even his e-mail address known" (6uc..@netaxs.com [1998]). Another user said of an anonymous harangue against me, "This coming from a real brave guy hiding behind anonymity. What a jerk!" (360..@erols.com [1998]). Another said, "Who'd believe some chickenshit who's too fucking scared to use even a handle? Fuck you, anonymousfuck" (199..@ng152.aol.com [1998]).

Did you make harassing phone calls to Internet enemies?

No - despite being falsely alleged in 6um..@camel21.mindspring.com and 199..@ng67.aol.com (1998). After they posted my address and number, I kept a list of the addresses and numbers of people who posted mine. My list was not illegal, as I did not urge people to commit violence like my foes did. This practice had a precedent: The Kentucky Post ran names and addresses of men arrested for hiring prostitutes, even though they had not been convicted. After my list was distributed, my foes blamed both me and another Internet user for making the same 2 hang-up phone calls to 2 people on that list - though they didn't explain how the same call could be placed from 2 different phones. Oddly, I have received numerous untraceable hang-up calls since then, even after changing my number repeatedly.

Did your enemies threaten to file frivolous lawsuits?

Yes: 5bu..@nyx10.cs.du.edu (1997). Later, when I complained to this user's ISP about his harassment, one of its admins, who claimed to be an attorney, threatened to file a SLAPP lawsuit against me.

Did you e-mail bomb your adversaries?

Absolutely! Had to. They wouldn't leave me alone, and they got an account revoked from one of my allies, so I sent them e-mails full of random gibberish. I'm sorry I had to do it, but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Some of them backed down after that. The fact that some of them didn't helped sort out the true assholes.

I won't even dignify some of the other bullshit with a response, like how my enemies falsely accused me of endorsing Lyndon LaRouche for President and parodying screen names in a chat room. I also did not praise a certain conspiracy theorist in Usenet posts (except in jest).

Everyone who knows me personally knows I wouldn't do or say any of the crap that's falsely attributed to me. Unfortunately the Internet in the late '90s became just like rightist talk-shit radio - a soapbox for character assassins that offers little room for normal human interaction.

As much as my adversaries have shown sheer contempt for the rights of those who disagree with them on public forums, when I started my own message board in 1998 and deleted inflammatory posts that they wrote about once every 10 seconds, they cried that I was infringing on their "free speach [sic]", and some threatened violence.

As a result of all the harassment, I was forced to permanently change my e-mail address. Guess what? Although I hadn't told anyone my new address yet, it took less than 12 hours for the same asshat who claimed to have "continued" my newsletter to somehow find my new address and blab it everywhere.

By 1998 the Internet - which had been promoted as the ultimate democracy - had become a right-wing dictatorship where a handful of bigots exercised a hugely disproportionate amount of influence. This small number of nutjobs took over several message forums for the sole purpose of harassing those who disagree with them, with piles and piles of nasty posts and by voting in bogus polls (in which they're the only ones allowed to vote) to add dissenters to their hit list. The purpose of their phony polls is to get the results listed in search engines to cause damage to the listed individuals or their businesses. The Internet in the late '90s had less regard for individuality and freedom of opinion than perhaps the most stodgy of American suburbs.

In some parts of America a handshake still means something - but it doesn't mean a damn thing to these slick self-styled sophisticates. At best they're self-centered and look down on the world around them; at worst they're the most brutal type of malicious criminals.

Odds are almost 100% that they'll bellyache for the next few decades about this article - which would be further proof that they can dish it out but can't take it. They've had countless opportunities to get their act together, and they've squandered every damn one of them. For all the sophistication they pretend to possess, their habits of toddler tantrums and lie-telling contradict their claims. Try being sincere for once when you shake hands. It's called class - something these losers obviously lack.

If my enemies don't like what I have to say, tough shit. They've had their chance to gripe, so they need to shut the fuck up and go away. This site isn't coming down, and if this offends them, they should have kept their pieholes shut when they had the chance.

The abuse ain't gonna fully stop. But at least now I know what I'm dealing with and am better prepared to call the abusers out on ther lies. If you see or recall anything suspicious or questionable, e-mail me to verify its validity.

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