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To read comments to this article, go here
Intimidation
Monday, May 09 2005 @ 04:40 PM EDT

SCO and its minions can never again complain about Linux "zealots", not without being laughed right off the stage, because compared to them and their tactics, it's clear now who are the pros at intimidation and terror.

Darl McBride and Laura DiDio have complained bitterly about receiving nasty email and late-night phone calls. That's kid's stuff by comparison. Without commenting on the latest O'Gara article's contents, because I am considering legal action and can't comment directly at this time, think about this: Have Linux "zealots" ever put up personal info on how to find Darl McBride's mother, with pictures of her home and the number on her mailbox so any stalker can find her readily? That was O'Gara's intent. Has anyone published who DiDio calls from her landline phone? Can you imagine the press conference SCO would hold, and what names they would call the FOSS community, if anything like that happened?

Who are the "extremists" now? The "cyberterrorists"? The violators of the law and of all things decent? Who are the enablers of stalking and violence?

But the big picture is this: it's official now, not just a guess, that my readers simply don't care who I am or what I am. They really don't. Groklaw isn't about me, and my work stands on its own. Anyway, they know me by now as a person, because in my writing they see my inner person, how my brain works, my heart, my ethics. We're old friends by now, and you always stand by an old, true friend. That is exactly what has happened.

Groklaw is exactly what I told you from day one, a blog written by a paralegal who became a journalist. I do it myself. All by myself. Well. Me and the entire worldwide FOSS community. All the rest is just their paranoid ravings and imaginings. Literally thousands of members and readers contribute to Groklaw, and millions read what we present.

You know why? In part, because I never take the low road. Really. That's the secret to Groklaw's success. It's a place on the Internet where we can speak to each other as adults, in a civil atmosphere, without meanness or ad hominem attacks and work together with a common purpose, regardless of our varied backgrounds and preferences in other areas. Politics is off topic. So is religion. And so are insults. I don't even let comments remain if they attack people like Maureen O'Gara. I once wrote an article to ask people not to attack her verbally, when others did so on another website. (In that article I wrote that she was a good journalist. I take that part back. I tend to be too kind.)

I have been flooded with emails of support and donations. I'd say whatever the dark side's intent, it has boomeranged. And I also want to thank everyone for all the words of support and the donations. I will try to write to you all personally in time, but I couldn't wait to tell you how touched I am by the overwhelming number of good wishes. Thank you. It means everything to me that you responded as you have and have seen through this latest and most foul attempt at intimidation and character assassination. Did you notice? They only attack me as a person. What does that tell you about the integrity of Groklaw that they were forced to stoop to that?

On a personal note: I've heard from several who are seriously warning me that they think SCO is setting me up so that they can arrange my "suicide". You know, like Val Kreidel allegedly was so overwhelmed by what was printed about her by Maureen O'Gara and others that she ended it all?

I have no experience in such things, so I can't evaluate their warnings, but I have taken note that three persons on the SCOX Yahoo Finance board, one known to be a SCO supporter if not an insider, have already predicted my suicide, two of them since this article.

So I feel I should say this, just for the record, just in case, worst-case scenario: I don't believe in suicide, and I certainly don't care what Maureen O'Gara thinks about me. So if you hear about my "suicide", it isn't one. And you can take that to the bank. She has no power to touch the core of who I am or how I think of myself. No one does. I know who I am, and I'm proud of my work and my decisions in my life. Not that any of that is anyone's business. I never agreed to be a public person. I don't want to be, and I have a human and a legal right to privacy. Just because you decide to blog, it doesn't rob you of your rights as a private person.

I have contacted the proper authorities, federal and local, in the state where I really live, and asked their advice, specifically about the warnings, and I have taken reasonable steps to protect myself, in harmony with what they counseled me. One of the things they told me to do is to tell you about the warnings I have received and put it out there in public, and so I am.

Here's a sampling of the many, many hundreds of emails I am receiving today, published with the permission of the authors -- I never violate anyone's privacy myself, because I treasure my own, so nothing goes on Groklaw without permission:

******************

PJ:

What O'Gara, McBride, and others of their ilk fail to realize is that members of the Open Source Community are a discerning bunch. We are impressed by demonstrated merit, not by marketing spin and FUD. We know what we need to about PJ from the fabulous news site and blog that she maintains. Your character shines through in the integrity of your work. O'Gara's attempt to spin innocuous details of your private life into some sort of character smear would be laughable if it were not so despicably mean-spirited. I certainly hope it has not caused you any stress. Please be assured that your thousands of friends in the community stand behind you.

Thad Phetteplace

*********************

PJ:

Just wanted to let you know how much I value your contribution of Groklaw to the world and that I wish you all the best in resisting the harassement MOG has launched against you.

I have never seen anything like your writing on the importance of culture, law, and software and how they relate to one another. I certainly didn't have anything like the appreciation I now do for the law before groklaw was around.

It's a shame that you have been targetted for harassement like you have. I hope it ends soon.

All the best,

Chris Marshall

*********************

Dear PJ, I just want to express my support on that article that O'Gara wrote about you. Whether the things she said are true or not is a completely secondary matter, Groklaw readers have been following your writing for a long time, and we judge you from what you have to say, and not any incidentals, but I'm sure that, whether it is true or not, it is not a nice thing to be spoken about in such a way... It is clear that O'Gara has no respect for truth, honesty and, more importantly, no respect for other people. I'm sorry that it came to this, and I want to thank you for all your Groklaw work, hoping you think it was worth it, even though it made you some unscrupulous and dishonourable enemies.

Of course, I do think it's worth it, and Groklaw will keep right on truckin'.


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