In the not so distant past, I was invited to write a story for Black Box Warnings. It was more of a cross-emailing going on – I’d approached Le Clown first and in his reply, explained that Jen had already spoken to him about me. I was ecstatic. I started blogging a few months ago for one purpose: to get my writing hand back in shape in order to begin the grueling process of writing my memoir about growing up under the fist of a sexually abusive, narcissistic sociopathic mother, and then my life with a drug addicted and drug trafficking father whom I didn’t know until I was almost 16. Up until almost a year ago, I’ve only written and published poetry. My declarations were always hidden behind metaphors. After I publicly outed my mother on a blog created specifically to house her outing which ultimately went viral overnight, I began this new path of healing. Of speaking up, being bold, and not allowing fear to get in my way anymore. I was, metaphorically speaking, giving the world’s shackles my collective middle fingers.
On December 17th, Eric aka Le Clown, published my story on Black Box Warnings. It was more of a testament to my bucking the typical social contracts that society has put into place regarding adults who were abused as children within a family unit and the surrounding constructs put into place to keep us quiet. US: those who were abused as children; those who have had our innocence not simply stolen but completely erased, wiped off the map of our short lives as if someone tore the paper out of every history book in the world. US: wrongly diagnosed. US: those who were groomed in silence to stay silent.
My interactions with Eric up until he published the story were very kind and professional. I was extremely thankful to him that he offered my voice a platform because my life needs meaning. That meaning, for me, is helping others in any way that I can who have been abused as children and wish to overcome the silence that has been forcefully corked in our larynx. This is why I’m writing this.
I’m not going to stay silent.
Eric, aka LE Clown, aka the Magnificent ™, about a week after my story was published on BBW, started sending me emails that became less about our “business” friendship and more personal. In fact, very quickly he delved into his admittance of having a fetish with smokers and asked if I smoked. I told him that I was a smoker and sent him a picture of my cigarettes with my little carrying case. I never sent any pictures of MYSELF. Ever. Despite him asking for pictures.
I admit that I lightly flirted back. These are my own boundary issues and I take responsibility for this. I saw him as someone with power and he gave my voice a platform, therefore I felt like I “owed” him something. Each time the flirtation crossed a line however, I told him to stop.
On January 3rd, I received an email from Eric in the morning, like I had received many mornings prior. It was light-hearted at first and then came this:
It also became apparent that when I told Eric to stop, he coincidently had a problem with something that I would say publicly: first, it was the “bad ass bitch” badges. Eric offered some assistance with my blog after I told him that I was redesigning my blog and really wanted a HEADER image. I specifically asked where Jen had gotten hers because I admired it. When I made an off-the-cuff comment on a facebook thread about making “bad ass bitch badges”, two minutes later I received an email from Eric that was passively scolding me for wanting to make such badges. He proclaimed that he didn’t use this specific word and that he didn’t want any part of it – that he would not make said badges for me. I was highly confused because I had never asked him to make me any sort of badge.
In retrospect, I believe that he was taking out his anger of being rejected by me in the form of scolding me regarding my outlook on taking back ownership and power over certain words that are used to demean women. Looking back now, I believe that he was passively punishing me for not allowing him to make sexual advances toward me.
We argued through email about this until I finally decided to unfriend him on facebook and no longer engage in any email banter.
A few days passed, and I thought the argument was silly. I was allowed to have my opinion and he can have his. No foul. I approached him in an email and apologized for the argument. He proclaimed his happiness regarding my decision to be friends again.
I don’t know why I did this. Again, I own and take responsibility for continuing to engage with this man. I should not have.
Enter Nicki Daniels, a woman who was befriended by Eric, aka Le Clown, to whom he also offered her voice a platform. She was seemingly embraced by his “carnies”, and most definitely by Eric. He added her to his personal facebook page, just as he had requested from me weeks earlier. When Nicki posted a humorous article on Bearded Hipsters, it quickly became controversial. In my opinion, Eric became jealous of her fast growing notoriety. When some of his women following disapproved of her blog post, Eric back-peddled. He opened up a public forum on his “A Clown on Fire” facebook page, where he and many other followers of his, metaphorically stood Nicki up in front of the classroom and reprimanded her. She was flogged, stoned, and given a few lashings under the guise of “self-improvement”. It was a disgusting display of hypocrisy and irony. But most of all, it was an utter betrayal by Eric to Nicki. He proclaimed that he had asked her permission to do this, when in fact, he asked that permission only AFTER the post went up and after over 100 replies had already been posted.
I was aghast. This man, who only days earlier asked me to sit on his face, had opened up a public forum regarding WORDS and how they hurt people, using Nicki Daniels as the poster child. Proclaimed hard- core feminists railed against her, not knowing that the ring leader of this “important topic” preys upon women in the darkness of emails.
I voiced my opinion in that public lashing; how I thought it was wrong what was occurring. I called Eric out regarding his role in that gross display of self righteous indignation. In response, Eric took the entire post down and sent me an email, as he always does, as opposed to speaking to me publicly:
I had already touched based with Nicki, to see how she was dealing with things, as I couldn’t imagine what that must have felt like for her – the betrayal. It’s one thing to post a blog tagged humor about bearded hipsters and another to open up a public forum, with Nicki Daniels as the subject title and allow a very serious reprimanding as if Nicki were the spawn of Le Clown and deserved the belt. I’ve spoken with Nicki several times, and I’ve since learned that Eric was very flirtatious with Nicki, commented on her prettiness, and told her that she “owed” him a picture of her smoking.
I also learned that Nicki was supposed to be included in the “5 bloggers to look out for” post, but was dropped by Le Clown or Eric or The Magnificent ™ for her “anti-feminist remarks”.
I believe this further proves the misrepresentation and hypocrisy of Eric, since he had been making sick “jokes” to me at the same time. It shows how he uses his platform to praise and punish. If you don’t do what he wants, he shuns you. In my case, if I stay silent, I will be rewarded. This is called exploitation.
Here’s how I believe Eric’s world works:
From what I can see, over 95% of Eric’s followers are women. Eric creates “empathetic” platforms geared toward female causes – abuse, mental illness, addiction, in order to garner a following of women who feel undervalued and unheard. This, in turn, creates a separate set of followers based on the previous tactic: those who proclaim strict feminist ideals. They are surprised and supportive of a “man” who offers the previous set of women a platform and they revere him for this. He panders to this set, while sympathizing with the victim set. The underlying current is that Erik aka Le Clown then uses all of this to make unwanted sexual advances toward women who, only days or weeks prior, revealed a story about being sexually abused. He embraces his god-like status under the pseudonym Le Clown where he playfully posts videos of him jerking off. It is my perspective and opinion that Eric has LITERALLY created a carnival of women he can mine at his leisure, while no one mums a word because many are afraid of his very dedicated following, online High Priest status in the blogosphere, and because so many of these women are still on a road to recovery from abuse. I believe that many, including myself, have not yet learned how to properly set boundaries, especially given the aforementioned facts. I own that last part as something that is MY problem.
When I posted on Calamity Rae’s facebook page about me being in a quandary regarding outing someone who I believe is misrepresenting himself in the blog world by way of predatory behavior and preying practices, Eric flooded my inbox. He begged me to not post anything. He apologized. I refused to answer his emails. He admitted what he’d done to me but continued to use the word “joking around” as a defense strategy. (Does any of this sound familiar to those who read the open forum on Nicki Daniels?) Then he became even more desperate, due to my not responding to him. In every email, he used his children. He told me that if I posted anything about what he had done, it would ruin his family, his life, and his children. He then proceeded to BRIBE me, with promises of inclusion in Black Box Warnings and his endeavors with the woman who runs Blog for Mental Health. In all of these emails I asked him one question and here was his response:
I made a promise to myself last year that I was done being silent. I am sorry to those women out there who feel like this post has re-victimized them. I am sorry that this outing will cause innocent casualties. I am not however, sorry for doing what I think is in the best interest of women who have not yet been exposed to the predatory behavior and unwanted sexual advances from a man who misrepresents himself.
I lived with a narcissistic sociopath for fifteen years as child, and not by choice. I can spot the signs. No, I am not a doctor. I am simply a woman who was abused severely and relentlessly as a child, who shared my story with a man who I believed to be empathetic to my cause and to my story, only to have that man make inappropriate sexual comments to me as I watched him publicly shame and punish someone else for making a joke. And in doing so, he acquired a larger pool of estrogen in which to swim.
I am not here to win friends. I am only here to speak truths with the hopes that this will reach some unknowing woman from falling victim to yet another predator. While Eric wants desperately for me to believe that it is I who is ruining his life, it is in fact him who has done so. I am also sorry to Sara, his wife.
This was not easy for me to do. This was done with many hours of sleep juxtaposed with anxiety ridden insomnia. I made a purposeful effort to check with people I trust regarding this situation and what my duty is or is not. It is simply my duty to offer you with what I know happened to me and what has happened to at least one other woman within the last month.
I am ashamed that I allowed myself to fall victim, again, to a man who preys upon women in varying degrees. I own that part of this story.
The rest is up to you to decide with what you will do with this information. In full disclosure, I am turning ON moderation for all comments.
For those of you who wish to know more about the details of my interactions with Eric or Le Clown, or whatever name you wish to call this man, I would encourage you to speak with him. Get his side of the story, as I’m sure he has one. I own every piece of email that was sent between the two of us. I will provide those emails to those who ask for it, but only to those who I feel need it in order to make a decision with regards to their personal relationship with Eric. I don’t believe those emails need to be read by every person who wants a glimpse into the discussions of two people simply for voyeuristic pleasure. I believe that what I’ve posted, the pictures of emails, is a truthful view of our interactions, summed up. You can always approach Eric and ask him for the full length emails.
I’m sorry for those women who are hurting right now. Please know that I am one of them.