This was written by former Prodigy member and Pena foe James Dolce back in June of 1993. I was able to get this text from Jerry Vasilatos two months later. My own dealings with Pena are chronicled in another post. **** James Dolce's Pena Saga **** NUMBER 1: All right, people. Settle back, 'cause I have no idea how long this is going to take. Get the popcorn, soda's and make yourself comfortable. I have a tale to tell. First let me say that on behalf of all of us, I declare VICTORY. Not a victory for one individual, or even a group. But a clear and deserved victory for truth. I also want to thank Jer and Cindia and Gina and Kelly and Mike and everyone else who pitched in to fight the good fight. You know, when I was thinking about this earlier today I realized that there are very few situations in life that have the full completeness of a good fiction story. That is, a story with a beginning, middle and an end. A story that has good pitted against evil. A story where the bad guys look for certain to win, only at the last minute to be foiled. Well, I am happy to tell you that this is that kind of story I am going to relate to you. To those of you who know the story -- or large parts of it -- I apologize, but I think it's important to get it on the record. So where to start? For me it began, that is it began THIS time, when I got a post from Lee Marx. Lee invited me back to the board. Lee said that things were happening and since so many would be leaving in July it would be a lot of fun for me to come back and do a kind of Pena roast. Nothing mean-spirited, you understand; all in good fun. So I agreed. And the first thing I did was scan the recent posts to get an idea as to who everyone was, and the kind of relations they seemed to have with each other... I was not surprised to see Pena still here. But there were many of you who I had never 'seen' before. Finally I jumped in with a post. And was greeted warmly by many of you. At that point I was up to speed on what Mark was doing. I saw the revisionist history he was posting concerning his past lies. And frankly that disturbed me. So at that point I decided to put together a number of posts to outline to everyone the facts of my encounter with Pena. Well, before I could even begin this I suddenly received an e-mail message from Gina Thomson. Now at this point I knew a little about Gina. I knew there were some who felt she was another persona that Mark used. But in scanning her posts, I had come to the conclusion that that probably wasn't the case. Well, both in public posts and email she presented so many pieces of evidence to me that she wasn't Mark, that I felt I needed to tell people. And so I did in a subject titled "Gina is Real!". And guess what? She's so real she's getting married to another real person, Phil. And that is what makes part of our story have such a happy ending. Because when I came back to the board, Gina had just stopped communicating with Mark. And it was obvious that he was becoming more frantic as he posted and posted to her. And yet she wouldn't respond. We all remember that. It was obvious to me, and I'm sure many, what was going on. It must have been the very next day after my return I received email from Gina. She was frightfully concerned. She was concerned for Mark. For his sanity. And she asked me to consider not posting anything that might put him over the edge. And after I considered things, I agreed to not push too hard on the past. NUMBER 2: But there was still the present. And there was Cloud Braxton.The first time I saw the Cloud Braxton ID I thought everyone just assumed it was Mark. I had no idea that anyone really thought it was someone else. But to get some info, I asked my new electronic friend, Gina. And she told me an interesting story. She knew that it was Mark. And I think she knew why he was playing this game. It was all a silly schoolboy attempt to get her attention and a desperate attempt to stir a spark of jealousy. See, Mark had become completely fixated on Gina. (Gina, this is a part you should be telling, so if I get any of this wrong please feel free to correct me on details). She had not encouraged him. In fact she'd done just the opposite. What had started out as innocent exchange of pictures and light fun, was suddenly turning dark. He apparently became more and more intense. Convinced that they were ment for each other. And so she did what any smart gal would do. She broke off conversation. But Mark was persistent. Note after public note was directed to her by him. Still Gina did not respond... Until Mark's mom got sick. Mark posted to Gina that his mother had breast cancer and that he needed to talk to her desperately. Gina responded like any normal decent human being would and wrote to him. Now Markie tried to pull the spring on the trap. He demanded that she meet with him to discuss things. Of course she refused. But this only drove Markie to more desperate measures. In a calculated plan, Mark posted publicly that his mother had breast cancer. How many of us can still remember reading that note, I'm sure. No one would make this up, I said to myself. Still consider the source and make no judgement on it now, I told myself. Yet within a few hours post after post of sympathy came in to Mark. People who had been locked in the most intense verbal battles with him suddenly put away their swords and offered prayers, cards and sympathy. It really was quite a display of compassion on the part of the board. In order to prove his point to those few who were adamant about this being a scam on Mark's part, he mentioned repeatedly that Gina could back him up on this, since he had mentioned his mother's illness to her previous to him going public. Remember, how his mother was in a hospital in San Francisco? Remember, how Markie kept debating about whether he should go to his mother's side at this time of need? About whether he could get out of his finals in college? Post after post of well meaning advice poured in from virtually everyone. People urged him to GO. Go to your mother's side. She needs you, people clamoured. And finally, Markie said he would go to be with his sick mother. He was really scared, he said. People prayed for her, and they wished Markie well on his sad trip. All the while Markie laughed. (Next up -- The Braxton Bust and a Pact with God) NUMBER 3: The first time I saw the Cloud Braxton ID I knew it was bogus. It reeked of fraud. And how convenient, I thought. Gina dumps ol' Mark, and suddenly he's exchanging cutsie little lovenotes with some Cloud. And Man, did the styles match. Where's that guy, Jerry Vasi, I thought. I'd remembered Jerry from when I'd been on before. He had a way of striking real terror into the heart of our little friend. And as I read each sickening exchange between Mark and his alter ego I became more and more convinced that this kid needs help... still, the story about his mom might be true. And if it were... well, I'd cut him a little slack... for now. Meanwhile Gina tells me through email that our favorite Cloud has been writing her, telling her that while she and Mark are going together, she knows that he still loves Gina. And that she wishes they could patch things up. Man, it was disgusting. And it was starting to frighten Gina. And frankly I had no pat answers for this. I remembered clearly the headlines here on the West Coast about Rebecca Schaffer, the actress, who was stalked by a maniac and shot in front of her apartment. I knew there was a danger. But I thought at least Gina was on the West Coast and Mark appeared to be posting from Texas. No need to worry her any further. Yet. Suddenly Mrs. Pena was getting better. Mark announced that he had returned from San Francisco and his mother's condition had been upgraded. And he said he had turned over a new leaf. He had made a PACT WITH GOD! By this time I and a number of others were really starting to doubt the whole story. Something just didn't seem to fit. I took a look at the date/time stamps on his notes and Clouds notes. And I noticed that the time that the macro put on the note was one hour behind the East Coast time. I also knew that early in the morning when he was posting, P* gets the notes up quickly. Usually within a minute or two of them being uploaded. That ment that Mark/Cloud was in Texas. Because the time difference between the East Coast and Austin is one hour. Well that lying little rat! The pact was going well, though. Mark was harassed by those who doubted his story. Nevertheless, he seemed to turn the other cheek. He would not speek unkindly. He never lost his temper. It was a brand new and improved Mark Pena. In fact, Mark announced that he was now going to church two times per week. This one was too easy, I thought. Pena knows Gina is a devout Catholic. He claims to be the same now. Going to Mass two times per week. I knew Gina wasn't buying it. Still, I wondered who was? (Next Up: The Mask Removed" ... Don't you miss it.) NUMBER 4: My wife and I had just come home from Jubei's, a small sushi restaurant about two miles from our house. It had been a great evening. Good food and perhaps just a little too much Kirin beer. It was late and my wife headed up to bed. I decided to spend a few minutes online, just to see what was happening. I knew full well that some of the best exchanges happened in the early morning hours. I logged onto Prodigy then let the pro-util macro wend its way to the Arts Club BB section. There, posting every few minutes, was Bob Miller. I'd watched Bob's posts before. He always seemed courteous and seemed to take a positive interest in the people he exchanged thoughts with. I also knew he must be quite a guy because he posted to a "lady" by the name of Cloud Braxton. It had only been a week or so before that Gina and I had seriously discussed the Cloud Braxton situation. I knew that Bob was well aware that Cloud and Mark Pena were one and the same. I also knew that Bob was such a good and loyal friend that he was willing to play along, most likely to keep Pena from completely going over the edge. I, on the other hand, had become completely revolted with the hypocricy that Pena was displaying. He claimed he had this pact with God, yet had no problem lying to everyone using this Cloud Braxton persona. What else was he capable, I wondered? So I decided to test this pact myself. I shot off a post talking about Cloud and Mark being the same. Many joined in on the attack. For the most part Markie seemed to remain unruffled by people finally speaking the truth about his alter ego. He sent a terse note claiming that Cloud was a friend of his who he had loaned his E ID to and that he hoped I would leave her out of any squabbles. Cloud "herself" repsonded with a few posts that dripped with outrage. Still that little voice was going off in my head about this one. I found myself moving away from Bob's posts and scanned to see if Gina was online. The screen flashed up with a list of her subjects. And as I flipped through the notes my mouth dropped. There, in the early morning hours, with my head still spinning from the Kirin, I watched the first cat fight I'd seen in twenty years. From the moment I realized what was going on I knew who would win. Apparently Pena realized he had to dump the Cloud persona. Things were getting a little too hot for him/her. So he decided to stage a fight online and dump her. What happened was this: Afte a number of highly provocative exchanges between Bob Miller and Cloud, Gina mentioned that Bob was married. Cloud became upset and went on the attack. Gina came back with a sharp exchange that had something to do with Cloud and sailors, the exact words somehow escape me at the moment. Suddenly, in the midst of this, there was Pena. "Hey," he said to Cloud. "I told you not to fight with my friends." Then he said to Gina, "Why is it you can't get along with other babes?" At this point, knowing Gina is Italian, I suspected her fist was probably sticking through her computer monitor. But then the fight turned back between Pena and Cloud. "Maybe we should put an end to this thing right now!" she said. (Next Up: The Wrath of Pena) NUMBER 5: The fight raged on into the night. Pena and Cloud, exchangine notes. It had been going on now for an hour. But lately the notes were between Cloud and Mark Pena. In my mind I imagined how it must look with Mark banging away at the keyboard a note to Cloud, then slipping into the Cloud character and writing back to himself. But where was Gina? I scanned for recent notes. Nothing! Had she bowed out after that last exchange? I doubted it. But where was she! Suddenly a new message from Cloud. I flashed it up on the screen. Cloud said how hurt she was that Mark was picking Gina over her. And then 'she' said, "Maybe we should just stop this charade right now?" In my mind it seemed only a second or two, although I know it must have been more, but there, hitting with the power of a Tyson left-hook came Gina with a very terse note: "Yes," she said. "Why don't you stop this charade." Suddenly the world stopped. I sat back in my chair and exhaled a long slow breath. And I knew that with one short sentence, Gina had done what I in post after post had been unable to do. She had destroyed Cloud... and began the downfall of Mark. It wasn't long before the threats came. I guess I had always expected it, yet when Gina told me about it I still felt surprise. Gina said the email had been rambling and frightening and that she was concerned for her safety. That he claimed to know where she lived and a number of other personal items, although some of them quite wrong. Well, that was it. Time to advise strong action. I wrote Gina that she had a number of options. At this point I was convinced the DA needed to be alerted. California has strengthened its stalking laws and I felt they could be put to good use in this case. So I advised her to call the Orange County DA's office and notify them, along with Prodigy, and to also write a note to Pena telling him in no uncertain terms to leave her alone. After I wrote that message to Gina I kept checking my mail every few hours. What were we dealing with here? I asked myself. After all, what did I know about this guy, except he hadn't gone to the University of Texas -- a fact I'd uncovered the previous year when Mark claimed to be a law student at the school. Very little, was the response to my question. Was this guy 16 or 36? Had he had psychiatric care? Did he have a police record? All the things you never considers when you enter into an electroinic exchange on a nationwide bulletin board. There is always the false sense of detatchment because in one sense you are isolated by distance from the receiver of your post. But that sense of security is a false one. But the world got brighter. I received a message from Gina that she'd written Pena a "note from hell", and he'd completely backed off. She seemed completely relieved and lightened in spirit. And I was glad for her. But I was still wondering about Pena and what he might do now. It turns out I didn't have to wait long to find out. (Next Up: And Then There Was Nate!! You won't want to miss this one!) NUMBER 6: And then there was Nate. Nathan Pelleur made his appearance quickly. Only one post. But it proved to be a fateful one. Nathan, known as Nate to some, had a very interesting ID. Nate's ID was RKNX09B. Mark's ID was RKNX09A. And on that fateful post he signed off GFF -- our little general! After that post Mark openly admitted that he had posted under that fake ID. He claimed that Nate had at one time been his roommate but that Nate had moved out. An explanation, to be sure. But to many who knew Mark's past, one that was looked upon with great scepticism. By this time the pact with God was dissolving. Markie was back to his same acidic posts. He never mentioned his mother's illness, and any time I asked about Cloud he didn't respond. Then one night while sifting through the sea of posts, there was one that caught my eye. It said "Reach out and Beat Someone!" followed by Mark Pena's address and home phone number. It was signed "The Anti-Rush". And I knew Jerry Vasilatos was back. But what was interesting also about that post besides its ruthless cleverness, was the phone number. It had only been a few days before that that I had called directory information and found a Mark G. Pena listed in Austin with the same number that was on the post. Could Mark have a listed number? I found that hard to imagine considering the great number of people he'd riled over the year and a half he'd been on the board. Still, you never know. The "Reach out and beat someone" post only lasted a few hours and was quickly pulled by the P* police. But with that post I knew I had a strong ally. But something funny was happening. Cloud was gone. Nate had only made that one appearance. And Mark was conspicuously absent for long periods of time. By now people were starting to make their preperations for the July rate increase and I assumed he was on Sierra getting used to the system. About two weeks later I saw a note from Mary McCullough, better known as MMM. Mary and I had exchanged a number of notes over the month or so that I'd been back and I knew there was no loveloss between she and Mark. In her note she mentioned our little Markie on the Health & Lifestyles board posting under the name Nathan Pelleur I. Quickly I jumped over and scanned for Mark. Nothing. Then for his B ID. The screen lit up with row after row of subjects. Forty, Fifty posts a day. And the topics! Masturbation, oral sex. And Nate was talking about how he was by profession a stripper at a club called Dante's in Austin. And oh how the young girls swooned. Talking about G-strings and bikini briefs. His mother must be running marathons now, I thought. Because this busts his pact with God wide open. And was he still attending Mass twice a week? And yet there was more. Cloud was there, too. She had apparently been developing a relationship this poor fellow who was quite deceived. I've gotta let people know, I said, staggering back home to the Arts Club. I was still doubled over with laughter when I started a subject called "Wanna Laugh?" Little did I know that it would soon lead to us having the last laugh. (NEXT UP: NATE'S KELLY) NUMBER 7: At first there were only a few of us on the H&L board. But we quickly got the word around about Nate. Surprisingly though, the response from most was 'so what?' I shook my head in disbelief. Here was a group of people apparently exchanging phone numbers and addresses and in their midst was Mark. Jerry started posting along with Mike, Nitzi, Cindia and others. But somehow Nate remained believable to many. One person in particular was Kelly Meadows. I quickly noticed the attention our Nate was paying Kelly. She was obviously someone who found Nate's story of stripping a fascinating one. If she only knew, I though. So I fired off some email. But what I got back was literally a note of disbelief. Could I blame her? But then others started posting, yet Nate always seemed to come up with an excuse to cover his tracks. Somehow he seemed to many on this new board far more believable with his talk of g-strings and massages than those of us from the Arts BB. In fact, we seemed down right out of place. Jerry Vasi was hitting hard at Nate and Kelly. Because as the attacks on Nate started Kelly defended him and put herself in the verbal line of fire. Nate continued to deny. He claimed victory! He boasted about his stripping. He claimed to go to the gym. And he claimed to have some loyal people who believed him. About this time we got the note from Ali. Ali had befriended Nate. He approached her claiming he thought he knew her from the past. However, the same pattern that Mark had run on Gina started to surface. The more Ali backed away, the stronger Nate came on. The good news was that Ali had managed to get Nate out of her life. The bad news was that a pattern of increasing harrassment of women was developing. But still Nate had Kelly. And there didn't appear to be any way to convince Kelly and others who backed up Nate that he was what we were saying he was. We'd reached the end of the road. Until the Anti-Rush, Jer, posted that he had sent copies of Nate's posts to Mark's employer. But wait, Mark's employer might just be Dante's. So I quickly pounded out some email to Jerry and then called Dante's. Dante's sounded noisy. Still, when I got someone on the phone I said I wanted to talk to someone about an employee. I was transferred to a guy named Dave. "Hello, I said. Will Nate be in tonight?" I asked. "Who?" "Nate, or maybe Nathan. His last name is Pelleur?" "There's no one by that name here," Dave said. "Hmm, ok, thanks." But then, before Dave hung up I said, "What about Mark?" "Mark will be in tonight at 11pm to start his shift" "That's Mark Pena, right?" "Yup," said Dave. "Thank yeeeeeeew!" I quickly emailed Jerry about my findings. He was ecstatic. Then I posted what I'd found out. Cindia called and was told that Mark was there but was very busy. Jerry called and actually had Mark come to the phone. We had found our man and real proof that Mark was not only in Texas, but there was no Nate. (NEXT UP: The Rest of The Story) NUMBER 8: Cindia, Jerry and I all had called. Still it was our words agains a well built stripper from Dante's. Kelly still didn't quite believe us. When I found out about Dante's I thought that was the home run. Instead, Nate threw up smoke and excuses. We had only hit a double. He challenged, he dared. We weren't there. Yet. Finally I told Jer that I might know of a way someone in Austin can help us. Jerry was for the idea. The next morning at 7:00am L.A. time I was on the phone to Ken. He greeted me with his pleasant Texas drawl and listened patiently while I explained the situation. After explaining I didn't know if he was going to laugh at me or hang up. Instead he said he could help and directed me to two articles concerning these kinds of problems. One in particular caught my attention: "Lurkers and Flamers". I didn't know what a flamer was, but it didn't sound good. Ken said he'd do some checking and get back to me. I felt pretty good. Ken hadn't laughed. In fact he seemed to agree with the potential dangers involved. When I looked up the day was over and I hadn't heard from Ken. I started wondering if I had been put on low priority. The following morning I was on the phone to Ken. He greeted me warmly, then I heard him shuffling papers. Within minutes he was rattling off all kinds of information about Mark G. Pena. Birth Date, Social Security Number, his mother and father's name. Who owned the house on Finley. What his father did for a living. It was so much more than I wanted I felt guilty about it all. And he went on to say that there was absolutely no Nathan Pelleur that he could find in the state of Texas. No drivers liscense, no nothing. But that still left the question open: Was there a Nathan Pelleur who was living at the house on Finley that had managed to escape somehow the numbers and papers that are attatched to our lives as we go through it? Ken couldn't answer that. But the telephone company could. I had the name of Mark's mother and Father. What if they too had a listed number in Austin? I dialed directory information. Yes, there was a listing! But could the operator tell me what address the number went to? Yes again. It went to the Finley Ave. address. The same address that Nathan Pelleur's phone was listed to. So that ment either Nathan was living with Mark's mom and/or dad, or Nathan was living there by himself and the phone for some reason had been left in tact. That explanation was possible, but remote. Still I needed to tie down every angle I could. I dialed Mr. & Mrs. Pena's telephone number. The phone rang three times. Then the answering machine came on. The recording was that of a pleasant sounding woman apologizing that no one at the Pena residence was home right now to take my call. I hung up. We were almost there. But there was still one question left: Was Mark living there or Nate or Both? (Next Time: Mark's Mom Tells All!! Don't you dare miss this!!) NUMBER 9: "Mrs. Pena, my name is Jim Dolce. I'm calling from California. I'd like to talk to you about Mark." That's how I began the conversation. Even as I spoke those words to the woman on the other end of the line I wasn't sure I should be saying them. I didn't want to invade these peoples lives! Here I was a complete stranger, calling this woman at what probably had been a hard day at work. "Yes," she replied in a pleasant but tired voice. After that it just came pouring out of me. About Prodigy, Mark, Nathan, her 'illness'. One quarter into the call we were laughing and talking. What a wonderful sense of humor this woman seemed to have. Could this really be Mark's mother? Without a doubt. And like most mothers, she had no idea. Now to the facts: Mark is twenty-five years old. Lives with his mom and dad. Is no stripper. To quote Mrs. Pena, "He doesn't have the build for it." But the best news of all is that Mrs. Pena has no life-threatening diseases. In other words the breast cancer lie was just that. They do love San Francisco. And that explains Marks repeated references to the city. No Stanford. No U of T. No stripping. No mass murderer. Just a lonely, rolly-polly kid. When I hung up I was greatly releaved. I called Jerry and told him the whole story. Then I called Cindia and relayed much of this to her. Finally I called Kelly. She really is a charming young woman. And so my friends that is almost the complete story. I have called Mark's number three times trying to talk to him calmly about this. He won't pick up the phone. He's sent me email with the most incredible story as to why his mother said what she said. Perhaps I'll post it. "Nate" wrote me this evening claiming his father is having a trace put on his phone because he's been getting crank calls. I've urged him to communicate with me so that we can rationally discuss this. I've urged him to come back to the boards and face the music, explaining that I believe that could indeed save his self respect -- something I sadly believe he needs. So far, all of this to no avail. Again thanks to everyone who helped bring this to what I consider a happy ending. Phil and Gina will be married and have many beautiful children. Mary will go on to sell her novel and make a real mark -- no pun intended -- for herself in the world of literature. Bob Miller already has a beer named after him. And Mark? I'm convinced he will be President of the United States one day. Good Night All ... and sweet dreams... ================ Appendix 1 =============================== To: ALL Date: 12/07/93 From: VRKG83A JERRY VASILATOS Time: 1:40 AM FROM JAMES DOLCE- Jer, Here's the "explanation" about my conversation with his mother. Just remember, nobody new I even had their number, much less that I would call. READ A MESSAGE FROM: NATHAN PELLUER I (RKNX09B) SUBJECT: KELLY'S CLOSET 06/22 07:51PM ET Jimbo, Sorry guy butta' you've been had. In order to end the phone calls and what not the lady simply told you what you wanted to hear. Feel free to believe what you will, but I'm warning you that unless the threats, calls, and what not end I will be forced into legal action- /\\ Regards, \ Nate \ (Yeah, what else is new? JV P.S. It should be noted I have never threatened or harrassed Mark or anyone else. I made one call to his mother and three or maybe even four to his number. Each time I called him I was polite. I said I wanted to talked to him about this. Certainly my phone calls where no where near as harrassing as his to Ali. PSS Nate talking to his mom - "Now look, Mom, if Jim Dolce or Jerry Vasi or Cindia or Chuckles the Clown calls, you just tell them I'm a complete loosssaaa. Yeah. That's the ticket, mom. That'll get em off my back." =============== Appendix 2 ================================ From James Dolce: Good Morning. I think I need to clarify and add a few points about what I found out about our friend Mark/Nate. Understand that I was trying to be sensitive to his family and at the same time not strike such a harsh tone that the notes would be pulled within a few hours. But in looking at some posts it seems there still is some confusion about Dante's and a few other things, so let me summarize as best I can. There just ain't no Nate. When I talked to his mom I asked if she knew a Nathen Pelleur. No was the answer. Had anyone by that name ever lived there. No was the answer. I asked if Mark might have a friend named Nathan Pelleur. She'd never heard of the guy. No one has. There is no record anyone can find in Texas of a Nathan Pelleur. The guy doesn't exist. It's just a name that Mark made up. As far as Dante's goes he's probably bussing tables. There is no big mystery there. Mrs. Pena also told me about some strange mail that they'd gotten. One letter addressed to "God Almighty", and an unexplained Prodigy Bill for an account that she didn't know anything about. (no real surprise to us) But, according to her, they got that straightened out. The whole stripper angle was a joke. When I brought it up she laughed. As far as "getting us off his back", if Mrs. Pena said when I called, "Nate, sure. He rooms with us. Our son Mark, used to be his roommate," Don't you think that would have taken the pressure off? Anyone who proposes that this was a set-up needs to take another valium. There were a thousand things she could have said besides, "I've never heard of Nathan Pelleur." There are probably many things I've left out. Feel free to ask me anything. The only thing I don't want to get into are his Mother and Father's names. I'm convinced they had no idea what was going on. Mark was just an immature twenty-five year old who probably never had anyone pay any attention to him. He's probably gotten more attention from this board than any other place in his life. Clearly the lies about his mother's health and the way he attempted to manipulate the emotions of people for his own gain was reprehensible. In my view it was unforgivable. The false bravado, the lies about his stripping, his work outs (yeah, he used to tell Kelly he was off to the gym), his promises to these women to come and meet them, the phony pictures he would send them -- It all came back to hit him hard. 06/24 09:08 am JD in Diamond Bar, CA =============== Note 12 ================= Board: ARTS BB Topic: RUSH LIMBAUGH Subject: PENA SAGA RETOLD To: ALL Date: 12/07 From: VRKG83A JERRY VASILATOS Time: 1:45 AM Jim, I think that about clears things up. Your fatigue wasn't as evident as you say, but I knew you would probably need to summarize and present a final conclusion. Proposing that Mark received more attention thru *P than anywhere else might be very accurate -- at the very least, he would make a terrific study. Personally, I'm glad that you did this on many levels. Even if he is an insecure, attention-needing, busboy with low self-esteem covered by false pride, self-aggrandizement, and a whopping lot of puffery, this 25-year old should be acting more like an adult. We could all get into an argument about who isolates the most behind their screens, and why, but that isn't the point here. Mark had to be exposed (not as in "Dante's-type of exposure") because he was luring in unsuspecting women and frightening some of them with his persistence. Many of us spend a great deal of time on these interactive services. Personally, I've forged some new friendships that go beyond the boundaries of electronic communication and repartee. We've exchanged addresses, phone numbers, personal histories, photos, etc., and I've come to believe that a great many people are basically nice. I've enjoyed making some new friends here, and I'm sure many others feel the same way. Mark, on the other hand, never (to my knowledge) made any REAL friends electronically which would then transfer to phone and personal visits because he created a persona that was so fake, he couldn't let anyone really get to know him or they'd realize quickly that he wasn't who or what he said he was. This I find particularly sad. When I spoke to Mark on the phone in April (same voice as Nathan's, for those of you who were brain-dead through all of this), he was quite opinionated and immature, but at the same time I sensed a sadness. At the time I didn't understand why I was sensing that -- especially from someone who seemed to be having so much fun in life. Now I understand it. I wish Mark could accept himself for who he is, get some counseling if that would help him to get off his butt and make something of himself that he could geniunely be proud of, become more tolerant of differing ideas and opinions, lose his Napoleonic traits.... in essence, just "find" himself, deal with it, and move on. The word "pathological" is one which should be used with extreme caution as is relates to Mark's lying. I'm not convinced that he's a pathological liar. Perhaps he's simply a boy who hasn't grown up yet, is still sheltered by his parents and is unhappy with his situation, his looks, his relationships. In any event, it's my hope that he'll seek out and receive the help he needs. Maybe by the time he's 30, he won't have to hide behind false personas. Unfortunately, if what I heard is true, the Sierra Network encourages the use of phony names.... reason enough for me to assume that every "Mark" with a modem will be there, and reason enough for me to avoid it. Thanks for your short-term hard work. I'm glad Leee revived you from *P dust. I'm glad you were able to see the need to expose him, had the resources to do it, and were willing to share your time in so doing. Now, I hope you'll stick around here a while.............. Cindia =============== Note 13 ================= Board: ARTS BB Topic: RUSH LIMBAUGH Subject: PENA SAGA RETOLD To: ALL Date: 12/07 From: VRKG83A JERRY VASILATOS Time: 1:45 AM JD...The question that keeps coming to mind is why did you go to all this trouble? Did Mark harm you in some way? Unless I've missed something along the way, he was just a smart-a88ed guy who did a lot of boasting on the bb. He may have, probably did, created several phony identities, engaged in some macho blustering and all that but why did you feel obliged to go to this extent to discredit him and spend the time and effort, albeit a well written one, to put this story out? Believe me, I am not being accusatory but I could never get so involved with a computer bb to carry things this far and I wonder why you were so motivated? I'm also confused as to why so many members seem to have encouraged you to carry out this effort? If it were just a lot of teasing etc back and forth that's one thing, but this seems to have been a serious effort at remote psychoanalysis coupled with a lot of vengeance. Obviously I don't know the details of what harm or threat Mark posed to all involved. I'd welcome hearing it all if you are so inclined. Ralph =============== Note 14 ================= Board: ARTS BB Topic: RUSH LIMBAUGH Subject: PENA SAGA RETOLD To: ALL Date: 12/07 From: VRKG83A JERRY VASILATOS Time: 1:45 AM Ralph, I think it had to do with something that was implicit in your note. That is, that it was only a BB and he didn't pose a threat to anyone. I and others weren't convinced of that. There was evidence that he could lure unsuspecting women into phone numbers and addresses. And there was evidence that he would take desperate measures to keep the lines of communication open when these women tried to break it off. I felt the probability was that he would turn out to be exactly what we is. But the possibility of him being dangerous was enough to move forward and find out. Something else that contributed I think was Prodigy. I don't know whether they were aware of the situation with his Nate ID or not. But it seems to me that they should have been and taken steps quickly. Hoever, as we've seen, P* can be very selective when enforcing it's guidelines. And that apparent arbitrary quality led me to doubt whether they would ever take action. In fact, it is only now that a few of us have received notes from a P* rep indicating that they are looking into the matter. That kind of response time is just not acceptable. And, in fact, the arbitrary way in which P* enforces guidelines helps enbraven people like Mark to push the envelope. It is a little late, but P* needs to come up with a way of preventing the malicious use of fake IDs. None of this would have happened if Mark had not so easily been able to hide behind the Cloud Braxton/Nathan ids. I don't know how they can do it, but something needs to be done. Sincerely, 06/24 10:58 am JD in Diamond Bar, CA =============== Note 15 ================= Board: ARTS BB Topic: RUSH LIMBAUGH Subject: PENA SAGA RETOLD To: ALL Date: 12/07 From: VRKG83A JERRY VASILATOS Time: 1:45 AM From: MARK PENA (RKNX09A) To: PATTI HAJDUK (NRBN10A) Subject: WELCOME & ENJOY! Sent on: 03/19 at 02:22 AM I just wanted to take this time to welcome you to the boards and to "officially" introduce myself. As you've probably heard by now I'm quite the topic of conversations. So this letter is also a defense of sorts. I'll be honest with you. I'm very right-wing and very argumentative. I hold my beliefs very dearly and I'll defend them whenever they are questioned. This fact makes me one of the more controversial members around. Either you love me or you hate me, very few people are in the middle. I'm sure you've heard GREAT things about me and HORRIBLE things about me, such is the risk one runs for being a passionate partisan. Anyway, even though I'll debate anyone to the proverbial death, and at times I go for blood, I'm also a nice, funny, and caring guy who separates the person from their politics. So please make-up your OWN mind about me, and don't allow others to paint me in a bad light. >>> I'm conservative, but I'm not a Puritan prude by any stretch of the imagination. The following information is known by only Gina and Karrie, so please keep it secret o-tay? Don't make me regret confiding in you. I'm 19 years old and I'm working my way through school as a stripper. Shocked? I assure you that it wasn't my first choice for employment, but after getting turned down for jobs in radio, and after >>> getting sick of working as a waiter I started stripping. I make GREAT money, I have a blast, and it gives me a flexible schedule in which to work around. I thought I might get a job last week with a conservative think tank, but alas I didn't get it....so it looks as if yours truly will be taking it off for a lil' longer tee-hee! I'm going to a Jr. College, and I'll be trans- ferring to the University of Texas in the summer. I hope to get a degree in government, and then go on to law school. God only knows if I'll succeed. I have short black hair, green eyes, I'm 6'2", and I weigh 182. The only reason I tell you this is because I thought knowing something about me might make you feel more comfortable around me. =============== Reply 1 of Note 15 ================= Board: ARTS BB Topic: RUSH LIMBAUGH Subject: PENA SAGA RETOLD To: VRKG83A JERRY VASILATOS Date: 12/07 From: AFWU50A KENNETH MILKS Time: 3:45 AM Jerry, ..THAT was one hellofa 4 star saga. Good even won in the end. There is an uncomfortable lesson here for all of us in your story. I waste about 2 hrs a day on this BB, I'm beginning to wonder why. I'm beginning to wonder if I really want an answer. Why is this fun anyway?