The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Portrait of a Stalker Troll: @Repsac3, Also Known as Walter James Casper III

Posted on | January 8, 2014 | 61 Comments

Professor Donald Douglas has spent years fighting one particularly obsessed troll, Walter James Casper III, who might actually out-rank Bill Schmalfeldt in the Stalker Hall of Shame, because Casper has been cyberstalking Douglas for more than five years.

Among the significant characteristics of cyberstalkers is the disproportionality of their obsessions. Professor Douglas is not an academic celebrity or influential media personality. He’s a professor of political science at Long Beach City College in California. It is not as if he’s at Berkeley, Stanford, Columbia, Yale or some other big-money “prestige” school, and yet the fact that Professor Douglas is (a) conservative and (b) a blogger is sufficient to justify in Casper’s sick mind the most insane forms of stalking behavior.

Another characteristic of cyberstalkers is their resort to psychological projection: They are not obsessed with you — no! — you are obsessed with them, and don’t you dare accuse them of harassing you — of course not! — you are instead harassing them.

This kind of “accuse the accusers” tactic serves two purposes for the troll: First, it is a psychological rationalization by which he justifies his behavior and, second, it serves to obfuscate the situation in the eyes of law enforcement or other authorities.

Something else: The conflict between Casper and Professor Douglas is not about politics, nor is it about Professor Douglas.

That is to say, Casper’s espousal of left-wing political ideas is not the reason for his behavior, but simply a pretext, and if he weren’t harassing Professor Douglas, he’d be harassing some other target, selected more or less at random. There is, of course, a specific history to the conflict between them, but it is ultimately irrelevant. There are plenty of people every bit as left-wing as Casper who are not obsessive stalkers, and there are other conservative bloggers who might just as easily become targets for stalking, if ever they attracted the attention of such a grotesquely deformed personality as Casper.

Walter James Casper III has spent years smearing and harassing Professor Douglas, trying to get him fired from his job. This could (and in fact, often does) happen to any blogger who has a day job.

To get an idea of the pathetic nature of Casper’s obsession, he has devoted an entire blog, called “American Nihilist,” to his anti-Douglas jihad. In the past six months, that stalker site has attracted an average of about 15 visitors a day. By contrast, Professor Douglas’s blog has averaged nearly 2,000 visitors daily.

In other words, the readership for Casper’s anti-Douglas rantings is less than 1% of the readership of Professor Douglas’s blog and yet, despite such clear evidence that no one else shares his obsession, Casper continues doing what he does, apparently with no other purpose except to annoy the target of his weird fixation.

Fish gotta swim. Birds gotta fly. Stalkers gotta stalk.

 


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Comments

  • http://deadrepublicanparty.wordpress.com/ rmnixondeceased

    Heh. Trust an Engineer to bring sanity to a punishment fantasy …

  • La Pucelle

    OK, here’s the deal: I’m going to give you a fair shake because you’re actually coherent. (unlike Schmeldfelt) I was right, I’ve seen this before. Specifically on LiveJournal fandom communities. As much as I’ll admit that I look down on teenage girls in fandoms, they’ve provided a lot of insight and some of them have been surprisingly mature. So here goes.

    Girl A and B are in the same fandom, let’s say Doctor Who, and they both write fanfiction. Girl A is upset at Girl B for some reason, let’s say that Girl B doesn’t like the Doctor/Jack Harkness “ship” and writes Doctor/Martha fanfiction. So Girl A starts writing gossip on her LJ about Girl B, and Girl A’s clique gets in on it. And even worse, either Girl A or one of her clique starts posting in one of the many anonymous communities about Girl B and her fanfiction. (They’re like 4chan. If you don’t know, don’t ask. Believe me, you’re better off not knowing) Every manner of high school gossip you can think of, with a bunch of “anons” badmouthing Girl B among a relatively small community. However, they keep their gossip and badmouthing to their own journals and the anonymous community; they never contact her directly.

    Now, Girl B usually has two options. The first option is to go on these communities to defend her reputation. Occasionally, the friends of the injured party also get in on the act to defend their friend, i.e., “whiteknighting”, thereby escalating the incident and earning Girl B a reputation as a “wanker”, someone who drags out drama. By answering drama with more drama, Girl B ends up making a bad reputation all on her own where one usually never existed in the first place.

    The other option Girl B can take is ignoring the threads about her on anonymous communities or on the journals of Girl A or those of her friends. And eventually, the drama started by Girl A fades away, since Internet memories tend to be short unless there’s something to the rumors or the issue is exacerbated and artificially extended by Girl B herself.

    Is it fair? Hardly. Welcome to human nature. But it’s been accepted by both courts and by piddling little online fandoms alike that being gossiped about online is not cyberstalking. When badmouthing crosses over into direct and continued contact, it becomes bullying, and persistent following of someone crosses into stalking. One tweet does not constitute stalking or bullying, but continued attempts to contact a target is, even if the stalker in question thinks he is “trying to set the record straight.” No one else sees it this way, nor will anyone but the stalker ever see it this way.

    So that’s pretty much where ywe are right now. You have the same options as Girl B.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15458282944035344707 repsac3

    First off, the nature of partisan blogging is that it is confrontational… We frequently post on our blogs about the facts, ideas, and attitudes that another blogger is discussing on his, sometimes in agreement, but far more often in opposition. Sometimes the confrontations are all about the ideas, and sometimes they get personal, but ether way, it’s built into the thing in a way it more than likely isn’t in the communities you’re describing.

    That said, there has been no contact between Dr Douglas and I in about 9 months. He posts about me on his blog or via twitter, and I respond in kind, posting about what he said or making note of the fact that he said something on my twitter feed or blog…

    Sure, I have the choice not to post… (…just like he does, and just like every blogger does before posting about what some liberal/conservative asshat said on their blog.) But being cowed into silence because the crazy guy who’s writing about you will likely post more crazy shit about you if you respond (and perhaps have friends who’ll pile on along with him) is no way to live your life…

    I call Donald out when he attacks because much of what he says is patently untrue, and he shouldn’t be able to lie about me on his blog without my pointing out every lie he tells on mine…not even if some think it’d be the smarter or more “sane, grown-up” way to behave.

    I understand what you’re getting at but no, I don’t agree that I should willingly silence myself against those who lash out and lie about me, even if I’m throwing away the opportunity to be the better man by not doing so… (I decided to stop–or at least curtail–being the guy who lashes out in the first place…but that’s about as far as I’m willing to go…)

    (As an aside, if even half of we partisan bloggers and commenters were sane grown-ups, the partisan blogosphere would shrivel up and die.)

  • La Pucelle

    Actually, no…that’s exactly what it’s like within fandom communities. Politics, fandom…it’s generally the same online because the Internet is like never leaving junior high.

    And…you missed my point. But I think I know what the problem is. I’m sure you know what the Streisand Effect is. (My personal favorite example is the now infamous Charles Carreon) So here are a few helpful guides: (Sorry for the language, folks) The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck. The actual advice in here is a little questionable, but the important thing is the point that people are going to believe things about you that you don’t think are true, and no amount of “setting them straight” is going to change that, like our friend Girl B’s situation. She just wants people to hear her side, too. Does it work, though? Nope. The only thing you can really do is Not Give a Fuck. And as the writer notes, most people neither know nor care. I certainly didn’t, and I can tell you this fact right now: if you hadn’t responded, I would have forgotten about you already. Really.

    MY GUIDE TO NOT GIVING A FUCK.

    This one, IMO, has more practical advice, primarily because he’s pointing out that bitching on social media won’t solve anything. Seriously, I don’t even use it to vent. Private journals are a wonderful thing.

    And finally, my personal favorite:
    INTERNET DRAMA AND YOU. Though this is centered around that wacky subset of fandom known as roleplayers about whom I plead the Fifth on knowing anything about, it’s still good advice about this issue. (So you can skip the whole “Pretendy fun time games” bit…unless you want to apply that to political discussions online. Because really, is anyone in any position to do anything even paying attention to us? Ha…big bag of NOPE.) But the big point here is that even though you might not start Internet drama yourself, you can end it.

    Oh, and have I been there? You bet your ass I have. Someone on one of these commiseration spirals had badmouthed a good friend of mine. It hurts even worse when one of these spoiled little girls insults someone I care about, but part of learning to not give a fuck was learning that their opinion of her wasn’t even worth the thought I was giving it. They weren’t going to change their single functioning collective brain cell over it, so I had to make the hard choice to just drop it. Was if fair? HELL NO. Did I have a right to defend her? Sure I did. Was it worth it lowering myself to their level? Not even remotely. But ultimately, I just wanted these mouthbreathers to leave us alone, and they did. The price of that was allowing their short attention spans work in my favor. That’s pretty much the universal Internet currency of peace of mind: letting people forget about you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15458282944035344707 repsac3

    All I can say is we disagree… In my opinion you put entirly too much responsibility on the people being attacked, and virtually none on the people doing the attacking. I would never want to live in a world where people–victims, potential victims, and good people everywhere–don’t stand up to bullies, online or off. Standing up and speaking out isn’t about convincing the bullies; they’re a lost cause. It’s about encouraging the rest of us not to passively accept their nonsense and to protect and defend ourselves and each other.

    You certainly can ignore a single incident or two (and yes, it probably is in your best interest to do so, for excatly the reasons you describe.) But follow McCain’s links to Donald Douglas’ behavior over the last year one more time. These are not single, isolated incidents and are not motivated by anything I do or do not do.

    Adding the guy’s posts to a list the way I do may not be your solution, but it surely isn’t stalking, harassment, or trolling, either.

    Thanks for the conversation, though… I appreciate your thoughts, even though I don’t entirely agree with ‘em…

  • SPQR9

    Its very disturbing that you think others’ reactions to your actions thereby justify your actions.

    That’s a seriously warped thought process.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15458282944035344707 repsac3

    I’m pretty certain I expressed no such thoughts or justifications, but if you can be more specific I’ll be glad to explain what my thought processes actually are… (You’re responding to my quote of McCain’s tweet, which (obviously, I’d think) wasn’t a reaction to anything involving me or my actions.)

    And if you’re trying to suggest “I hit him (Dr. Douglas, that is) first,” I can’t really say who started it, as it was 5 or 6 years ago… But I do know that we both kept our hands to ourselves for about 5 months straight…and then Donald took a swing on January 6, unprovoked–which is to say, between early August and 3 days ago, I took no action regarding the man whatsoever, and thus nothing for him to react to. (You’d think that a guy accusing me of harassing him would prefer not to put himself back on my radar, considering I hadn’t said word one to or about him in almost half a year… You’d think.)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15458282944035344707 repsac3

    I defy anyone sane and decent–and that includes some of Donald Douglas’ biggest supporters, and especially anyone who has ever been swatted, or who chose to leave their home to protect their family from possible bad behavior by those they blogged about–to say that the post below is not very creepy, or that doxing someone with whom you disagree over the internet is EVER justified.

    Years ago, a reader of my blog had resources from one of those background research sources that for a fee will provide personal information on people. The reader sent me a file on Repsac. I think it even included a photo of his home in Mastic, New York, which I gather is on Long Island (or that included a link to a photo online). If I recall it was an older one story home, apparently on a street corner, with a large-trunk tree on the front lawn. The place looked kinda run down. That’s the basic description, if memory serves me. Not sure. There was a street address as well. There was other information too, about family members. I already know where Casper went to high school and (surprisingly, because he’s so retarded) college. Some of this information is easily found just by a quick search for “Repsac3″ on Google. But some is definitely proprietary. Basically, hate-addled Walter James Casper’s ripe for a doxing. And not just a quick Internet search doxing. We’re talking about a full professional investigation-style doxing. All this is speculation, but hey, stalkers do face consequences sometimes, and if anyone deserves the honors it’s the universally reviled Repsac3. Frankly, what pisses people off is not only that Repsac’s a despicable troll (truly evil, in fact), but that he maintains a stalking hate-blog along the lines of Breitbart Unmasked.

    These are all just ruminations and speculation, but you never can be too careful.Donald Kent Douglas

    Yeah… I’m the cray cray stalker…

  • Simon Fraser

    What happened to his face?

  • DonaldDouglas

    Bwahahaha!!

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