Friday, April 30, 2010

For those of us scoring at home (unedited)

The Facebook comments that followed my observations about cystic fibrosis kid were fascinating and hard to resist. The drama is too good, you can't make it up.

I'm delving into new territory today, cutting and pasting content from other online sources. Today's Facebook sparring necessitates it. I'll provide response to each excerpt, but first, let's set the stage.

The key players in the drama are essentially three people I have worked with at the haunted attraction. I work in an indoor maze, one that has fog machines cranking periodically throughout the night.

I previously introduced Doug, who sometimes bills himself as cystic fibrosis kid, as I recall. He's not a kid, he's turning 35 this year. He smokes, drinks Mountain Dew, loves the Minnesota Twins and indicates he has regular, ongoing medical needs for more than just cystic fibrosis.

I also referenced Mark, another co-worker who is questioning Doug's honesty and integrity. I don't think it's actually Mark doing it. Mark and Mary are husband and wife. They both work with me in the maze, and have two Facebook profiles. Initially they created a shared profile, but have since added a second profile for Mark. Mark doesn't use computers very often, and it has always been my sense that Mary maintains Mark's profile. So even though I referenced comments Mark made today, I suspect they were made by Mary, using Mark's profile.

One more person of note is Mike. He's Doug's brother, although it has been suggested that they're not actually brothers. They have different last names, so perhaps they're half brothers. Or maybe they're cousins. They clearly have a relationship, but that's all I know for sure.

A quick recap/explanation of the story: Doug is using Facebook to request donations toward his utility bills, such as gas and electricity. He has provided a link to a website that collects donations on his behalf. His request is for more than $17,000 to help pay his various bills. Mary, I believe, is questioning his integrity through Mark's Facebook account. She questions how his debts are so substantial, as well as how significant his health issues are since Doug works part time each October in our haunted maze. She has done this repeatedly during the past day or two, and has asked him to validate his financial needs. I'm not entirely sure why she is motivated to do this, but she has said, more than once, that she is concerned he is taking advantage of the kindness of others, including those who have a family member with cystic fibrosis. She has posted very sharp, pointed questions and criticism in response to Doug's Facebook messages, which he has deleted, she claimed.

So, here are a few of the comments from today, not necessarily in chronological order. Nothing has been edited, other than names. I'm using pseudonyms for each of the players.

So Doug took me off his friends list!! ANYONE who can spread the word that he is scamming people out of money, PLEASE do!! He STILL will not give straight forward answers & refuses to show verification of his situation!! There are families with small children that are sick giving this man money out of the kindness of their hearts!! He should be ashamed of himself!!

That was a recent status update on Mark's account. Earlier in the day Doug had posted comments about his situation, including a note that said he is trying to quit smoking. Mary posted an eight-point response questioning his financial need. She noted he had a fancy cell phone last fall and questioned his need to go out of state for medical treatment, among other things. There were questions, observations and suggestions in the eight-point response.

You forgot to delete us on this profile!! So before you do, I wanted to tell you that I have already contacted the website that you have your "fundraiser" through to investigate your "situation" AND the FTC is also going to be performing an investigation!!

You are a scam!! You should return ALL money you have received & apologize to EVERYONE!! You should be ASHAMED of yourself!!

AND as far as taking us off your friends list, go ahead!! I have MANY of the people on YOUR friends list contacting us & spreading the word!! Not to mention, I will be posting this as my status so EVERYONE from the Haunt will know the kind of person you really are!!

Even your "brother" Mike typed to us stating that you prefer to not pay your bills & that your current situation is your own doing!!

See you at the fog filled Haunt this October!!

Mary posted that comment on Doug's Facebook page, using her own account. I'm sure that comment will soon be deleted, too. Bottom line: Mary is not holding back at this point. She has stopped questioning/criticizing and is now seemingly on a mission. Right or wrong, I'm not going to be the judge, but it's obviously great theater.


That comment came from Mike, the brother. Mike and his wife went to Vegas a while ago, and I'm not sure why that has anything to do with Doug's situation. Mike doesn't use Facebook that much, but he posted concern about his brother's actions for everyone connected to Doug to see.

Doug how much is a pack of cigaretts now??? Put away what you pay for a pack every day and maybe you'll have enought to partially or completely pay some of your bills. YOU ARE NOT A BAD PERSON, you just need to get your act togather-we all give up things to meet our bills, you need to attend a free money mgt. course for the YWCA or the YMCA so you can learn to manage money or this will continue to happen over and over again. YOU NEED TO LEARN TO BAIL YOURSELF OUT.

That comment came from somebody I don't know, somebody connected to Doug who read his comments/criticism about his situation, and his smoking, and responded. I don't know if she was a friend, relative or online acquaintance, but she wasn't shy about offering advice.

My daughter has cystic fibrosis and asthma along with many other issues. and i preach to people who dont have a lung disease to stop smoking because my daughter has to suffer to breathe everything and you have beautiful lungs that you are ruining on your own free will. Now i see another CFer smoking? At first, I thought this was a joke, the whole raising money thing was a joke. Bills are never that high unless you live in a mansion or own a hotel. Now I am completely disgusted by this and I have no respect for you and no passion to help you. You are the issue to your own situation and I hope the rest of the people realize this before donating to something that may be a huge hoax.
You should be ashamed of yourself.
I am heathly and I don't take my organs for granted because one day I want to be able to save lives and hopefully one of them being my daughters. You on the other hand, this is just a whole nothing issue. Get help.

Another comment from somebody I don't know, somebody who has read Mary's criticism of Doug and decided to add her own two cents.

picking on your hubby? im picking on no1. i answered your comment once. you responded. then proceeded to delete both your comments. i said not 1 thing to pick on anyone. i said to take it to emails. causing drama on facebook is quite childish. putting someones business out there on someones profile is not needed. it can be done privately. that is what i said. other people read dougs profile.

Mike's wife has also logged into Facebook, making a comment or two, evidently. This last comment is from a woman I don't know, but she makes a very good point about the necessity of posting comments and criticism for all to see. If Mary knows for a fact that Doug is deliberately trying to defraud people, it makes sense that she would post what she has on various Facebook pages.

Was all of it necessary? One woman didn't think so.

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