Everyone is entitled to truth in romance, but some folks simply don’t comply. They think their wants are more relevant than yours, and don’t grasp how much you care about protecting your personal autonomy.
We have Valentine’s Day for celebrating love. We have days to acknowledge Moms, Dads and Grandparents, We even have days to recognize ground hogs. And did you know September 24th is National Punctuation Day…. No kidding!!
How can anyone expect to know the truth when the lies are so ordinary?
A fifty five year old widower meets an attractive New Jersey woman on OKCupid. His wife of thirty years died of an illness and after five years of grieving, and occasional dates, he’s ready to get on with his life. She was his greatest love. They were unable to have children.
He’s a college grad with a steady job, nothing flamboyant or unusual. A family man, his aging mother lives with him in the home he owns.
He notices a single woman with long dark hair and a pretty smile on the e-dating site. She’s financially self-sufficient, also a home owner, with several entrepreneurial interests and teaches music lessons. She’s had relationships with men, and a marriage that ended in divorce.
So who’s defrauding who? Both stories are perfectly plausible, but only one is telling the truth….
The man is a life-long bachelor who strings multiple women along at a time. He’s never been married and lives in his mother’s home. And oh, that college degree, it never happened.
They dated, “monogamously” for several months. When he took a week off from his job without any explanation, our heroine caught onto his penchant for simultaneously juggling multiple “relationships.”
Should she have known?
We’re often told that victims “should know”… Something should seem “off,” or that their personal vulnerabilities made them targets.
Often therapists provide months and months of therapy to unravel the mystery of why someone “chose” to become a victim, as if they fooled themselves instead of getting punked by a despicable liar who targeted and caught them in a web of deceit.
And is it a crime?
The woman had no expectations other than finding a loving person with whom she could share time and experiences. And from wanting to be loved, she became defiled.
The more mundane the lies, the more sinister the erosion of trust for the victim, because they can’t point to anything that could have signaled reality. The violation they feel can have a long reaching affect on the rest of their lives.
While the offender skips along to some new unsuspecting victim, the current one is left with heartache, a pervasive sense of deep-rooted defilement, and life-long trust issues.
Where is justice for these victims?
Hopefully, it lies in New Jersey’s legislation #3908. If you have yet to sign the change.org petition to support this law, please do so today!
Mischele Lewis, who suffered sexual assault by fraud at the hands of William Allen Jordan, (the story that caught the interest of Assemblyman Troy Singleton, and began his journey to introduce legislation,) is far from New Jersey’s only victim of this insidious crime. This law is for all victims. If you’ve suffered SexFraud in NJ, or anywhere for that matter, please let me know. We need examples of this crime for legislative hearings in the Assembly and the Senate.
Thought you might like to see how some folks respond to this defiling crime. This comment was posted on my Facebook page:
I don’t get the story. I was waiting for something more sinister and climactic, like emptying out her bank account or something along those lines. Dating a lying loser is unfortunate but you cannot lock up people for things like that. Life doesn’t come with a warning label.
I found it ironic that Mr. Masi could relate to the theft of the victim’ money, as if that were a major breach, but not the defilement of her sexual sanctity. I responded that some people think sex is nothing more than warm flesh and body fluids. They don’t grasp that a person’s sexual organs are a gateway to their soul. He’s far from alone in his beliefs.
A gentleman named Mal asked me a question this morning that I believe is important for all my followers to see….
I am pretty sure that a large proportion of dating site profiles have at least one lie in them somewhere. Women often lie about their age for example. If you claim to be 38, when you are in fact 42 and then have sex, would that be considered rape?
And here’s my answer:
When you lie about your identity characteristics, you are altering a person’s impression of who you are. If you don’t straighten out this misconception BEFORE you engage in sex, you have duped them into the act. Why would someone be entitled to having sex with another person under false pretenses? You are defrauding them, not seducing them. You are not the person they think you are.
I often say that lying is not a crime, but defrauding someone is. So here’s a perfect example of when a lie becomes a crime.
You shape a person’s concept of “you” with what you say to them. And if you shape yourself to be someone through false personation, you are using identity characteristics that are not “yours” in order to sexually penetrate them.
Make it difficult to fool you!
Because of the significant amount of lies that internet dating sites are known for, I suggest checking an internet date’s ID prior to advancing the relationship.
Obviously, if you meet them and experience no attraction, there’s no need. But if you feel inclined to see them again, exchanging ID would be a good idea. If they resist, it’s a pretty good sign that you should walk away.
When someone asks for an ID check, it’s the right time to confess the lies you wrote into your profile. And if everyone who participated in internet dating, made this a regular practice, you would see the lies diminish. What would be the sense if you would be found out before the relationship got anywhere, and your having lied would paint you as untrustworthy.
An ID check will not give you all the details you’ll want about this person. But, unless they hand you a forgery, which, unfortunately is possible, you’ll at least have their real name, age and address. People who are married are loath to give you their address, so the likelihood of their pretending to be single is reduced.
And…. retain the dating profile of anyone who you go out with!
Should “Counterfeit Daters” be punished?
If a person creates a counterfeit one dollar bill, are they committing a crime? If they use it, they certainly are. And if they pass off a large quantity of them, or tender a forgery of a larger denomination, the penalty for their crime increases. The principle behind the crime, they use a counterfeit to get what they’re after, is the same regardless of the size of the bill. And lying to defraud someone of sex is a crime, regardless of the size of the lie. In fact, the simple lie…… the age, the marital status, that spills off the tongue, in many ways is even more insidious because of its complete reliability.
Please note, however, that no crime can ever be prosecuted without significant proof, so a “he said, she-said,” told to you at a club or a party, will not garner an arrest when you jump into the sack with the offender.
Take an internet relationship slowly. Be sure to get to know the person well. Meet their family and their friends. Be wary of dates who claim to travel for business. It could easily cover up that their spouse is at home, looking after their children, while they travel from date to date.
Editor’s note….. Here’s a new and interesting twist on a sexual hoax. This international scam artist entices women into marriage commitments so he can enjoy the luxury of their family’s homes when he globe hops to be with his “fiance.”
This story was supplied by an Asian woman we’ll call “Susi” about the man she aptly calls, “Demon.”
The “International Traveler” Sex Scam
I am a woman who has been physically, financially and emotionally abused by a serial fraudster.
I met a Canadian man, Demon, via an online matching service. He was a Pharmacy Manager at a retail giant. We started communicating by online chatting, phone calls and emails. On his personal profile, he clearly stated he was single with no children, and looking for a wife. He asked me if I was marriage minded. He also had brief conversations with my mother over the phone on several occasions. We first met face-to-face in France.
The perfect gentleman
Whenever we crossed the street or entered doorways, he would lightly touch my back, in a “ladies first” gesture. I thought he was being a gentleman. But as we were sight-seeing, he used that gesture to push me down the stairs of the train car we had just ridden, and I stumbled onto the platform. I was badly injured and still suffer orthopedic pain from this incident.
We had talked about our room arrangement before our trip, I had insisted on separate rooms. I booked and paid for my own accommodations for the evening of my arrival and the next night. He had not booked a room for himself and there was just one room left in the hotel. It was the busiest season in Paris because of the holiday and exhibitions; therefore, finding accommodations was quite competitive, The last room was taken while he hesitated.
His motive to injure me
I believe that Demon injured me in order to make me feel dependent on him. He emphasized that he was a medical professional and was capable of taking care of me. I was in a great deal of pain from the fall.
After the trip, he frequently talked about marriage, a wedding, and honeymoon. Demon wanted to come to see my parents and preferred staying at our place to a hotel so he could get to know us better.
The truth comes out
Shortly before his visit, I learned that the residential address he had given me actually belonged to a former employee (also a pharmacist) at his same company. When I noticed that he had lied, I spoke to him about it and ended the relationship.
I also learned that he misused his workplace phone for carrying-on a fraudulent relationship with me and with other woman who he met online. I discovered that he was a married pervert, with three children, who had exploited me and my family.
He establishes himself as a fiance to target a woman’s parents and use their home for lodging as he travels the world.
In pursuit of justice
My damages from the accident are serious. I still suffer from severe pain and have also endured depression both due to the injury and the deception he perpetrated. I wasted lots of money on a trip that was totally based on false pretenses. In addition, I have spent, and will have to spend, huge sums for my medical needs which include braces, rehabilitation and surgeries.
I filed a lawsuit in my country, against this con artist. A series of pleadings were held, however Demon failed to submit an answer to the claim or appear in court. A default judgment was issued, and he did not appeal. Accordingly, the judgment was confirmed.
I had sent letters (authenticated by a Notary) and my lawyer also sent a demand letter. Demon was informed about the possibility of enforcement of judgments from outside of Canada. He was given ample time to prepare for and enter his plea. He did not.
I am awaiting the result of the further action I must take to secure payment for the judgement. The policies of the Canadian government toward processing such claims places a financial burden on the victim that impedes justice.
A woman named Deb contacted me about what had happened to her and asked me to post it. It’s a tale that’s typical of the outrageous behavior of internet romantic scam artists with an enlightening “take-away”.
A little background….
Tom seemed to be a great match for Deb. He found her in an on-line dating site. He was a good communicator and they spent hours on the phone, almost daily, throughout their eight month relationship. She felt the “chemistry” of a new found connection right away when they first met.
He claimed that his job caused him to travel on assignments. Shortly after they met, he was called away. Little did she recognize, at the time, that married men frequently disguise their existing relationships by claiming the need to travel for business.
More false claims
Tom pretended that he was a Marine Reservist and a Forensic Psychologist. He’d been turned down by the Marines and never went to college. He stated his age as 41 when he was actually 52. He is alleged to be a bigamist. The case has been filed against him in New Jersey and is currently pending.
Debunking the myth
We often hear people accuse SexFraud victims of ignorance and gullibility. But one would hardly use those terms to describe Deb. In fact, she’s trained to recognize, sort out, and deal with issues that surface in dating. She’s a dating coach. She believes that the elevated level of conquest piqued Tom’s interest and made her a “high value” target.
You can read more about Deb’s case on her blog. She has located a number of additional victims who Tom has hoaxed and they serve as a support group for each other.
Emotional predators often strike when people are most vulnerable. They troll e-dating sites for the perfect target… someone who’s geographically desirable and recently divorced, recently widowed, or recently went through a break up…. the more painful the better!
Their concept of geographically desirable may not be what you think. For some, it’ll be the conquest that lives around the corner. For others, distance enables them to bob and weave to avoid expectations of consistency. While they’re not with you, they’re luring the other fish they’ve hooked on their line.
Don’t signal them that you’re vulnerable!
Many rape by fraud scenarios begin as Sir Gallahad on a white stead swooping in to rescue the fair damsel. Having been through misfortune can easily make you a victim and blind you to the reality behind their charm.
They’ll ask loads of questions, and you’ll think, “Wow, this person really wants to get to know me.” And in a twisted way, you’re right.
They’ll sympathize with everything you say when you pour out your heart about your past love. That dirty dog who left you flat will be the scourge of humanity to them. After all, they’d never behave like “that” to someone they love. Problem is, when you’re dealing with an emotional predator, they’re not capable of love. They’re simply angling to win your trust.
If you provide enough information, they’ll determine what makes you tick, and then it’s easy to conjure up a hoax to reel you in. Saying the right things and becoming that person they know you’ll relate to is seductive. But defrauding a person for sex is not seduction, it’s a sexual assault.
Mischele Lewis, the victim in the recent NJ case that went to trial against William Allen Jordan, had just parted ways with her ex-husband when they met.
Successive breakups drove Lauren Lazarro of Florida into the waiting arms of a former officer on NATO vessels, raised by nuns, with a dreamy Italian accent. He lied about his age, a character distortion typical in sexual assault by fraud. While his sophisticated web presence made him appear to be an astute businessman, his sudden “illnesses” provided the means to gouge her of money.
Recent heartbreak is not the only key to vulnerability, however. A single Mom we’ll call Suki hadn’t been seeing anyone special for a couple of years before she was love-bombed by a Scottish musician. He claimed to be single and committed to creating a loving, monogamous relationship with her. Little did she know he was married and involved with a veritable smorgasbord of women, both locally and around the world.
Treachery in internet dating
Four women recently outed the Marine Reservist, Psychologist, FBI Agent who charmed them all, while married to one of them as well as another woman. He kept them all dangling on a long-distance string. His favorite fishing hole, the internet.
Finding someone you want to be with should not entail bearing your soul over past relationships. You need to be careful of the loaded question, “So how come an attractive person like you is single?” It’s meant to gauge the depths of your vulnerability.
There is nothing wrong with saying, “I prefer to discuss my romantic past with someone once I know them better.” Don’t give in to the bait, “Well, how will you know them if you don’t share your past?”
Finding someone who cares about YOU is not about prior romance. It’s about who you are. Do you have similar interests, and similar values? Do you enjoy the same music, art, food. wine, movies? Are you both into traveling, sports, and culture? What’s your compatibility factor? So share your interests, but not your romantic history, with someone you just met.
By all means, don’t lie. You’re married, divorced or single. But don’t go into the gory details of what got you this way. And make sure to check ID for anyone you meet through internet dating!
Wanting to be loved is a normal trait
Unfortunately, we will often give great leeway to people who charm us by showing they care about our previous pain. We see them as empathetic, caring individuals and we respond with trust. A person who is guileless, expects the world to lack guile as well. But it is important in the age of dating perfect strangers that we ramp up protections to keep us safe.
And if you don’t succeed, it’s just as important to recognize that being vulnerable and allowing an emotional predator into your life, is not a crime. But defrauding someone of sex is, whether your state prosecutes it or not.
“Thank you so much for being a champion of my cause! I am so grateful to have you in my corner and to help support me through this heinous process!”
Above is the post Mischele Lewis placed on my blog after I’d accompanied her to a hearing and posted on recent events in her case. She’d been turned down for a restraining order against William Allen Jordan, a convicted pedophile and bigamist, who had seduced her in an emotional hoax. The Judge, John Tomasello, failed to enlighten her that a restraining order was already in effect, per Nicole’s Law, a statute providing restraining orders in all sexual assault cases. Nicole’s mother saw my post and contacted me. That’s how we found out.
Lewis claimed that, along with defrauding her of sex, Jordan robbed her of more than $4,000, and impersonated an operative in the British Defense Ministry. Ultimately, Jordan pleaded guilty and allocuted to the robbery and impersonating an officer. He is scheduled to begin his three year sentence in February.
The most troubling aspects of Lewis’s case against Jordan are:
The authorities in the UK did not report deporting him to the US and place his name on Meagen’s List, which identifies sex offenders. Lewis has a teen aged daughter. Jordan has a history of child molestation.
The State of NJ failed to use their existing statutes covering aggravated sexual assault to convict Jordan. Instead they charged him with “Sexual Assault by Coercion,” which could not possible stick. Jordan had not coerced Lewis. In fact, he’d seduced her. Correctly, the Grand Jury failed to indict.
Aiding a victim
When I first met Lewis back in March of 2014, about four months after Carnal Abuse by Deceit was originally published, she was unaware of Rape by Fraud. Donna Anderson, who blogs at LoveFraud, a healing community for victims of relationships with sociopaths, had introduced us. She’d read my book, wanted to know if Lewis’s case met the criteria. and if NJ would punish the offense.
I spoke with Lewis at great length, enlightened her about the crime, researched the NJ statutes, and put an analysis together to give to the police, along with 2 copies of my book. I figured they knew far more about the laws of NJ than I, but wanted to convey that someone who knew something about it was watching and standing behind the victim.
I explained to Lewis that if NJ failed to convict on Aggravated Sexual Assault, we could gain the traction needed to introduce a sexual assault by fraud law in the state. (Jersey uses the term “sexual assault” for such cases, not “rape.”) Anderson, Lewis and I went to the police station together to file her statement.
A light appears at the end of the tunnel!
Fortunately, when the jury failed to indict based on the Prosecutor’s charge, Assemblyman Troy Singleton read the story in the news and contacted Lewis. He introduced Legislation #3908 in the NJ Assembly, Sexual Assault by Fraud, on November 13, 2014.
Assemblyman Singleton is absolutely my hero! After suffering my own personal, decades long journey through rape by fraud, spending 4 years writing my book, blogging, and advocating, I was overwhelmed with joy!
#3908, You can help!
The bill has a long way to go! It was patterned after the statute on sexual assault by fraud in Tennessee which is the broadest of such laws in the country. Media has created hysteria by characterizing the law with absurd scenarios that the statute is not designed to prosecute.
A petition seeking the passage of NJ Assembly Legislation #3908 is posted on change.org. Your voice can make a major impact on passing this bill!
Today, New Jersey…… Tomorrow, your state or jurisdiction! And give all your friends and family the link so they can sign the petition as well! http://www.chn.ge/1t7FZJu Don’t hesitate! Click now to sign!
Watch the Dateline episode on Sunday
Dateline taped Mischele’s story. I was asked to give the “legal framework,” but my section ended up on the cutting room floor. Unfortunately, introduction of the law came too late for the taping, and very little of the finished work mentions the crime of rape by fraud. Still, it will be an interesting depiction of how con artists work to embroil people, looking for love, in sexual and emotional hoaxes. I hope everyone will watch and send a note of appreciation to Assemblyman Troy Singleton, AsmSingleton@njleg.org, to thank him for his efforts and support passage of Legislation #3908, Sexual Assault by Fraud. Due to his actions, the next sexual con artist in NJ may actually get jail-time for their crime!
Rape by fraud can happen to anyone. Mischele Lewis, like everyone else, desired to have love in her life. We’re all wired by nature to do so. No one has the right to exploit our instinct to couple with either physical or emotional rape. By defrauding her of her highest emotion, and sexually penetrating her based on “false personation,” Jordan did both. He is not the only sexual predator out there. There are millions. Society needs to know and put an end to their depravity.
Watch an in-depth explanation of rape by fraud
I was recently interviewed about rape by fraud by The Woman’s Connection. Here’s the link. I hope it will enable viewers to develop a fuller understanding of the crime and its devastation.
Please join me, live on Twitter during the Dateline airing: @jm_short, hashtag #RapeByFraud and hashtag #SexualAssaultByFraud
I receive complaints each and every day about internet dating scams. These stories break my heart. They’re tales of love-bombing and betrayal. Some involve sex addicts. Others hide marriages or money fraud. And my first inclination is to recommend people stay away from dating sites.
MSNBC conducted a survey that calculated 30% of e-dating participants were married. The number was higher for men than women. But the Oasis Singles Blog indicates that 30% of the dating pool, in general, is covering up existing marriages. So if the ratios match, e-dating at least, provides access.
The trick is to use e-dating wisely and be on the watch for hazard signs.
Free sites are apt to contain more scammers than paid resources for obvious reasons. The greater the disclosure and security provided by the site, the more likely they are to eliminate con artists.
If you constantly reach voice mail, rather than securing direct contact, or if their written responses are delayed, your match may be waiting for their wife or business colleagues to get out of the way.
Are they speaking in a hushed tone or only texting late at night? Their spouse could be right alongside them when they do.
Are they making miraculous recoveries from illness? Telling you they’re sick one day, and then appearing perfectly fine the next, could signal they lied to hide their whereabouts.
No photo on the site? When people want to send you their photo privately, rather than place it online, it could signal that they don’t want to be found out by a spouse. Let them know they need to post their picture, not send it to you directly.
Weight, height and age are the most frequently incorrect statements on dating profiles. If it’s important to you, don’t take their word for granted.
If they never take you home or identify where they live, it’s a tip-off that they’re hiding a spouse.
Someone who is really into you would love to show you off to their family. Failure to do so could easily indicate a problem. Con artists will denigrate their family relationships. They’ll even feign that they’re dead. If you don’t meet the family, be very cautious!
Avoid e-dating services that market people as wealthy or millionaires. No one who is wealthy wants to be punked by a Gold Digger. Their interest is not served by attracting you to their affluence, so why would they?
Always Photo ID a person you meet through on-line dating!
I know it sounds intrusive, and it is! But you are taking risks in diving into the dating pool, and so are they. Rather than springing your request to ID them on your first date, let them know ahead of time that you expect to exchange IDs when you meet. Their resistance is a good indication that they’re not on the level.
The score is currently 1,051 “no” to 50 “yes.” The question? Should lying about yourself for sex be considered rape? This poll is being conducted by NJ.com.
It’s really troubling that so few people responding have any sense of the foulness of defrauding a person for sex. And the media is spinning it in a way that incites hysteria. Here’s my response to the offensively silly questions that have been raised on this issue on NJ.com and elsewhere.
Back in the Roman era, rape only applied if the person was a virgin and a citizen, not a slave. That was the law for years, It didn’t make it right.
Here’s your statement::
“In other words, it’d be illegal to tell someone you were a millionaire to coerce them into bed if you are actually broke.”
Sorry, but you’re misleading the public.
Here’s what they actually need to know about this law….
Several types of non-violent rape are, in fact, punishable in NJ….
When a person is slipped a drug, or under the influence of dope or alcohol, violence does not necessarily occur. When a person is underage or mentally incapable of consent,violence does not necessarily occur. All of these forms of prosecutorial rape have a common core. They are all a means that offenders use in order to vitiate a victim’s “knowing consent” over their sexual sanctity, and strip them of self determination.
In fact, violent sexual assault is the crime of “sexual assault”, not “assault,” because it vitiates the victim’s “knowing consent” over their sexual sanctity.
So violence, doping, intoxicating, coercing, sexually violating someone too young, or too mentally challenged, are all manners of sexual assault, because they ALL vitiate knowing consent. Likewise, fraud vitiates knowing consent, and when used in sex, it vitiates the victim’s knowing consent regarding their sexual sanctity.
These are the legal premises that apply:
A. “Non-consensual sex is sexual assault.” Don’t believe me? Read the It’sOnUs Pledge endorsed by President Obama.
B. Global Consent, according to Model Penal Code- “Consent is INEFFECTIVE if induced by force, duress, or deception.” Global Consent pertains to all things, (that;s why its called “global,”) not all things except sexual assault!
This law simply connects the dots between these two widely accepted legal premises. And by, the way, several states have similar laws. Tennessee and Alabama in particular, although various scenarios of rape by fraud are covered in other states as well. No one goes to jail in those states for saying they’re a millionaire when they are dirt poor.
Again, your words:
“The measure doesn’t consider sexual assault by fraud any less serious than other types of sexual assault already on the books. It could be a first degree or second degree crime depending on “the circumstances surrounding the act.” The punishment could be 10 to 20 years in prison in the former and 5 to 10 years in prison in the latter.”
Every state’s penal code establishes “degrees” for each crime. The media has incorrectly stated how that works. No one in their right mind would ever equate the nightmare of violent rape with the severity of ANY form of non-violent rape. But all forms of rape will cause the victim to feel defiled.
The DEGREE of severity will be up to the powers that be to ascribe, as is the custom for every other crime that exists in New Jersey’s penal code. And the degree of crime for this law has yet to be established.
So let’s look at who will actually be punished for committing this crime…
Will lies of “he said, she said” in which there is insufficient proof for the Prosecutor to try a case, or for the Grand Jury to indict lead to an arrest? Ridiculous! So all the silliness of getting arrested for wearing false eyelashes or Spanx is just that… silliness. A person’s appearance could never get them arrested under this law.
No one could be arrested for telling someone they are Brad Pitt’s best friend or that they will marry the person in the morning and fail to do so.
Don’t get me wrong… it’s not that this form of lying to secure sex isn’t a crime….. but there must be a level of proof that is prosecutorial in order for an arrest to be made. If you’re driving 56 in a 55 mile an hour zone, are you speeding? Sure! Will you be arrested? How absurd!
A person who lies about their intent would simply insist that they changed their mind. And lies of identity can only be pursued with sufficient proof to convince a Prosecutor, Grand Jury, and a Jury.
People who come into the room under cover of darkness and pretend to be someone they are not… the boyfriend, husband, wife, etc, of the victim, can be prosecuted.
People who engage in an elaborate hoax for which there is ample proof, can be prosecuted.
People who are told the doctor is penetrating them with a medical instrument, but inserts his man-parts instead can be prosecuted.
People who defraud a victim into thinking they are perfectly healthy when they can transmit a life altering communicable illness can be prosecuted.
Anything that is new to people will frequently meet with scorn and ridicule. This law is no different. Scorn and ridicule are often the first step toward acceptance.
Lying to sexually penetrate a victim is a defilement. Lies are not prosecutorial without significant proof. So folks can keep taking off those wedding bands, but if you do so, you should know that you are a CAD and you are defiling them, not seducing them. BTW, I keep a list of people who are reported to me for doing so on my blog, http://www.RapeByFraud.com.
Reporter, Jessica Schneider, introduced New Jersey’s newly submitted Sexual Assault by Fraud law on the CBS Evening News in NYC, last night, featuring Assembly Member Troy Singleton and myself. Here’s the link.
We need more even handed reporting like this to counter the silliness like “Will I get arrested for wearing Spanx? Afterall, I’m being deceitful about my appearance.”
So to answer a few questions from reddit and other sources….
No, if you tell a person you own a helicopter, and you really don’t, it’s unlikely a case can be made against you. It’s not that you haven’t defrauded the person, it’s just that what you’ve done is not prosecutorial.
And no, if you say, “I’m going to marry you in the morning,” but don’t, or “I’ll love you forever,” when you really don’t mean it, you are not likely to be arrested.
In response to the unnamed gentleman in the clip, the victim of the hoax that precipitated Assemblyman Singleton’s interest in this law, did indeed try to investigate the background of the offender, William Allen Jordan. He had lied to her, not only about multiple identity characteristics, he’d lied to her about his name as well. He made it impossible to check him out.
It wasn’t until they’d dated for over a year and become engaged that she learned his true identity. He was a convicted child molester and bigamist who had been deported from the UK after serving his time.
Not only had this Lothario embroiled the complaining victim, Mischele Lewis, in his scam, just days after his release, while on bail for the charges that were brought against him, he went after a new victim with a similar hoax. Some sexual predators just never learn and the only way to prevent the public from harm is to incarcerate them.
Like in all criminal court cases, the District Attorney and Grand Jury can’t frivolously charge the offender. In order to pursue a case, significant harm and considerable proof must be presented. And in cases in which the lies are of “intent,” it is all too easy to defend your position by merely claiming you changed your mind.
The cases that would more likely be cause for action are ones in which the harm was an ongoing hoax or where the offender gained access to the victim under the cover of darkness or another means of concealment. An additional benefit of this law is that it could provide justice for victims who receive life threatening communicable illnesses from predators who lie about their health.
So while the premise of the law holds true for all cases of sexual assault by fraud, duplicity invalidates consent, only substantial cases will warrant prosecution.
This morning, I was happy to see Donna Anderson at LoveFraud pick up on a position that I’ve advocated for quite some time, and focused on in my book. And I did so because when people understand the chemical mechanics of romantic addiction, it makes it easier to cut the chord.
How and why brain chemistry connects us
Mother nature provided us with brain chemistry to bond us to our lover. It enables us to create offspring and cohabit with the other parent in order to provide the nurture and protections needed for their development. Love, therefore, has to be a strong and binding glue because the children of homo sapiens are the slowest to develop on the entire planet. Oxytocin, a powerful neurotransmitter in the brain, that aids in trust, love and emotions, as well as other “love” chemicals, are what separates man from beasts.
Dr. Paul Zak describes the role of oxytocin in his book, The Moral Molecule. And Scientific American refers to it as love glue. Coupled together, with our brain’s additional chemistry, they serve us as both the bait and the hook. But when we enter a relationship with a character disordered person, instead of becoming fulfilled and loved, we become damaged and at risk. The chemicals we were provided fight with our conscious awareness to keep us embedded. They begin to function as a toxic glue.
And our code of morality, which evolves over many years, together with the influence of abundant experiences, also defines how we react in romantic situations. For many of us, we develop a code of commitment to a loved one, and we feel shame when we behave out of character with our own personal code, better known as values. A crafty emotional predator can use our own inherent value system to shame us into remaining.
Fear induced bonding
There is yet another strong chemically-related bond that forms in relationships where there is trauma. Misattribution Affect has been aptly described by Dr. Kristin McKinney. When people experience heightened fear, their adrenaline starts pumping. Going through a traumatic event makes us bond with people with whom we share this circumstance. For instance, riding the roller coaster at the County Fair sparked many a relationship. If the couple wasn’t holding hands when they embarked, they were likely to be when the ride ended. As we go through the roller coaster of a relationship with an offender, even though they have caused us harm, we can feel more bonded with them.
A toxic relationship provides the pain of a constant hook. It is damaging to live with, and excruciating to walk away from.
People will often settle for the relative peace and apologetic behavior that occurs between episodes of abuse. Marriages can take place as a result of a predator’s temporary contriteness between times of turbulence. The victim can easily confuse the offer of marriage, even when made by the offender as an attempt to curtail exposure, as a sincere commitment to reform. And it is easy for a victim to be persuaded when they fall within a calm portion of the cycle of harm.
There is no way to turn, in or out of the relationship with a predator, that is not painful. Victims must surmount their fear of the pain and loss, that they associate with walking away, in order to take that necessary step.
Because of the terrible pain we feel at the loss, only through consistent and repeated harm, or the discard of the offender, do morally committed people sever a romantic relationship. In cases like Reeva Steenkamp, it’s likely that she died at the hands of her lover, Oscar Pistorius, before she reached the point at which she could free herself from her emotional bond. Pistotius’s cruelty spiraled out of control prior to her reconciling the discrepancy between her “feelings” and the reality of her predicament.
The need for No Contact
Often, even once a victim pulls away, what they feel as a deep-rooted emotional appeal, can draw them back again. They go through a period of turmoil, ruminating about their circumstance, emotionally heaping blame on themselves for not being more of this or less of that. Their brain plays the “if only I had” game as if something they did made the psychopath an aggressor. They can fall into deep depression and need to grieve their loss like grieving over the death of someone close to them. While the offender did not die, their relationship with them died. Having no contact, guards against recycling the predator’s pull and helps assure separation.
When we drink alcohol, it makes our brain feel a certain way. Abstention makes us crave the way we felt to an even stronger degree. Abstaining from a toxic relationship can produce a similar result. Unless people know the chemistry behind their craving, they are susceptible to relapse, which takes the form of forgiving.
How to know we need to go….
Once we recognize that the person is devoid of emotional empathy, getting away from them is the only way to regain our life and equilibrium. Emotional empathy is the knee-jerk reaction we have to other people’s pain or circumstance. Without it, we can’t develop a conscience. A psychopath will not change. They are wired that way. And putting oneself back onto their pathway only puts us in harm’s way.
What happens if the relationship produced a child?
Unfortunately, victims who parent with miscreants will have a lifetime of toxic behaviors to deal with. Victims must do everything possible to build the oxytocin receptors in their children’s brains, early-on, because they are especially at-risk for developing without emotional empathy. They have a pre-disposition to a genetic flaw. Modern mental health professionals tell us that approximately 4% of the world’s population is comprised of psychopaths. Not everyone who is the child of a psychopath will become one. But they are seriously at-risk of doing so. Dr. Liane Leedom constructs a pathway toward character development for children in her book, Just Like His Father.
If you are experiencing raising a child with someone you suspect of psychopathy, minimizing your own personal interaction with the other parent should be done to the greatest extent possible. Be cognizant of the chemical pulls that could cause you to feel drawn back toward their appeal. Be sure to retain sight of the harm you were dealt and live in reality. While they can exude the charm that attracted you initially, they are toxic at their core. And when they recognize you are no longer fooled by them, they can and will try everything possible to undermine you, including alienating your children. Stay smart. Seek professional guidance.
The “E” in e-dating could readily stand for “Easy Pickin’s!”
Gone are the days when families oversaw the courtship of the younger generation. Dowries and chaperoned strolls through the park, characteristic of the 17th century, are long gone. But Andrew G. Gardner, in his Colonial Williamsburg article, Courtship, Sex and the Single Colonist, describes that even in the era of the Puritans, one third of marriages took place with a “bun in the oven.”
Jane Austen’s day was not without scoundrels who made commitments and flew the coupe, leaving the maiden in the socially unacceptable circumstance of being unmarried and pregnant. And young men frequently sought their fortune through their matches. Love often took a back seat to pragmatism and concern for the betterment of the family.
Back then, families were less transient and people knew the character of others who lived in their village or town. A slip in behavior, bad dealings with others, was hard to suppress and marred a person’s reputation for a lifetime.
So why should we expect technology that readily transports strangers into our lives is a safe way to meet a mate? And what about our moral structure enables us to think it okay to engage in sex without thoroughly vetting our love interest?
Whatever a person tells you online could be true, or a total fabrication. And people can transport their charm through techno space as readily as if they sat beside you. What they say can be truth or fiction, depending on their moral compass. They know, if you are looking for love, you are the perfect mark.
Duping people is an art form. And the well practiced CAD is hard to spot. They can lure you with a sympathy play, by mirroring your values, by flattery, and countless other practices that erode your guard.
Some safety guidelines
I’m not saying that you should never engage in internet dating, but rather, you should do so with great caution. Here are some basic protections you should employ:
Check the photo ID of anyone you meet online. Is it unromantic? Yup… but if the person cares about your safety, they won’t be offended.
Be sure to note their age and address. Is it the same information you initially received from them? There is no excuse for a lie of identity. If they told you one, walk out the door. You will never be anything but an object to that person, no matter how charming they appear to be.
Google them. Check them out on Linked-In and their Facebook page. Do they work for a company with a web presence? The likelihood is great that if they used technology to find you, but don’t have other social technology, they are hiding something.
Don’t have a sexual relationship with anyone until you have met other people who know them. Sex is chemically bonding. Regardless how you feel about them before the fireworks, you will feel more compelled toward them afterward. It’s how the neurotransmitters in your brain work.You will be more susceptible to their lies once you’ve had sex with them which is why impostors will try to quickly sweep you off your feet. Too much, too fast is likely to be a con.
Remember that there are two sides to every story. People who parent children together, regardless of the fact that they are divorced, should get along with their ex. Not doing so should run up a red flag.
Not having a bond with parents is a pretty good indication that they are unable to bond, period. Even if a person suffered abuse, they will still feel a bond of love. While they may establish healthy boundaries, they will care about their parent’s well being. People who have no relationship with their parent are likely to be unable to bond. And they may cook up stories of abuse as a sympathy play to explain away their lack of caring.
Be mindful of the signs that people give off that indicate they have weak or non-existent emotional empathy. How do they treat the waiter? The valet? The cab driver? Have they engaged in any kind of activity for the betterment of others?
You can improve your safety in internet dating by being vigilant and recognizing that one out of 25 people are sociopaths and many more have sociopathic of character disordered traits. Don’t think falling into a predator’s path can’t happen to you.