Thursday, July 26, 2012

Shining a Light

For those who worry I don't understand the First Amendment, I retired from the US Navy after over twenty years of active duty service, protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States. I am quite aware of what the First Amendment guarantees. I will defend the rights of others to speak their opinions, even those with whom I disagree. However, there are limits. The First Amendment does not extend to fictional characters dispensing medical advice nor to fictional characters who make libelous posts that interfere with another’s right to do business.

For those who’ve never actually seen or read any of Darringer's posts, and are basing their opinions solely on the responses in the earlier thread, please understand that you are seeing the responses from people who have been bullied by this man for months. It’s very difficult to explain how far beyond a few simple bigoted remarks this extends. Darringer and his creator targeted specific authors and deliberately attempted to interfere with their ability to conduct business and promote their work. In effect, to prohibit them from doing their jobs. Months of ignoring this behavior resulted in an escalation of his attacks and his actions continued to interfere with the ability of these writers to effectively perform their jobs.

An online predator deliberately creates a believable but false persona in order to obtain personal and private information. That is in no way related to creating a pen name or using a stage name to keep your personal and business identities separate.

Under the false guise of a Marriage and Family Therapist, Darringer coerced personal, medical, and mental health information from people, then disclosed it on his Facebook page and ridiculed the person for revealing the information in the first place. He made many uneducated and inaccurate diagnoses of people, most often labeling with one of the following, excerpted from his July 19, 2012 blog post:

  ...codependent, narcissistic, egomaniacal, duplicitous...borderline personality... 
Behavior quite unheard of and unethical from a mental health professional. There were other serious questions raised by his frequent posts revealing patient information, and by the diagnostic misinformation he was spreading via his blog. 

I did attempt to report "Matthew Darringer" to the proper authorities that govern mental healthcare providers in California. He did not exist. Not just by name, but by any of the other information he’d “leaked’ about his position as a counselor

We will likely never know the true extent of all the damage he’s caused because of his frequent practice of deleting posts thereby altering the history of his timeline and blogs. It’s why so very many people started to screen capture his posts, in itself an unusual step. By using a combination of blocking and post deletions, he was able to spread his cruel and debilitating agenda across the MM writing community with impunity.

Anyone who followed Darringer’s blog or Facebook account for any length is familiar with his frequent outbursts against women authors of MM fiction and his personal vow to expose what he called the “Tampon Mafia.” 

I think it’s best to let Prewett and Darringer speak for themselves to close this post. In “Blacklisted,” a MatthewDarringerWrites blog post from Thursday July 19, 2012, Darringer wrote a long diatribe about the women of the “Tampon Mafia” and their failed attempt to have him blacklisted. He delivered a veiled threat that he would deliver a smack down to any of the women writers should they try to fight him. Remember, this was Matthew Darringer threatening to reveal the true identities of writers in the MM genre who use pen names.

Here is a direct quote regarding his position:

One thing is certain about bullies like these people. They fear light shining on their shit. I know how to flash the lights to high beam. They fear others will catch on and others have.
Matthew Darringer, July 19, 2012

This little light of mine…

Now, it’s time to heal,


  1. Thank you for bringing light to the darkness that is rampant. I don't know what to make of all this, but hurt that he has bullied and crucified my friends. They did not deserve his visciousness. As a fellow "Tampon Mafia" female m/m writer, I stand behind my fellow authors and if I could protect them from such vile intent, I would. *hugs*

    Brava! Brava! Brava!

    Laura, you are so correct. It is time to heal. This...abomination cannot continue to hold power over any of us that his cruel words and slanderous attitude touched and affected.

    *HUGS* To everyone who has been upon the receiving end of his viciousness. And to you, Laura, for continuing to shine the light brightly!

  3. It is time to heal but also a time to rejoice in the real people of this world who aren't bigots and who refuse to be bullied by the little dick and heartless mentality this jerkoff showed the world. While I am a huge fan of pay it forward, I am also a strong believer in Karma and mother nature is gonna kick some serious butt. You'll get your light, shining on you no doubt, darling Matthew, and I would venture what I consider to be an educated guess that it'll be the very hot light from hell.

  4. Congratulations to you for standing up to him so effectively. Tampon Mafia here, too. The best defense against predatory stalkers like him is solidarity.

    If anyone published my legal name I'd be irritated, but I don't have much to lose. I use a pen name; I don't use a fake identity, and I believe they're unethical and often appropriative. Anyone who lays claim to a marginalized identity (race, gender, sexuality, etc.) wanting to claim "everything but the burden" is part of the problem.

    Matthew Darringer/Lee Prewett did all that, of course. Plus, he's a straight-up predator. People have to know this in order to watch out if he tries this again. If anyone has any IP addresses known as his, I suggest they post them publicly.

    As soon as I read some of his blog posts, I was reminded strongly of the case of JT Leroy, a hoax which took place mainly in literary fiction and postpunk and art gallery circles about 10 years ago. JT Leroy claimed to have been a horrible abused underage transsexual truckstop prostitute. JT Leroy's books won wide acclaim and lots of famous fans. I even read half of one, but it was too over the top for me, and I was a little skeptical. JT Leroy claimed to be too shy to show up in public, but did actually do one signing, appearing as a blond woman in a floppy hat and sunglasses.

    JT Leroy was actually the invention of writer Laura Albert. Full story here: Like James Frey later on, her reputation was ruined for life.

    This was a really messed-up story and I wouldn't be surprised if Lee Prewett was familiar with it. Unfortunately, his writing wasn't even strong or disciplined enough to reach Laura Albert's level, and he got distracted by his pathological hatred for women along the way (not to mention his suspicious obsession with his penis length). He wanted to hurt people more than he wanted literary success. I think he really hates gay men too—many of his diatribes were directed towards gay men who were insufficiently masculine—he just hates women a little bit more.