Read part 1 here where I describe the strangest, most bizarre social interaction I've ever experienced.
Do you ever regret what you write?
I really did debate about whether or not I should write about this strange encounter I had with a random twitter user. I mean who knows what kind of issues this person has and who knows if writing about this person might make me a target for further harassment. But I decided to write about it anyway because it was just too bizarre - it kind of freaked me out and I needed to talk about it.
In writing about this exchange, I made a conscious effort to focus the discussion around how strange the encounter was for me and my reaction to the bizarre nature of the messages. I really tried to stay away from commenting on the person directly and what potential issues or conditions led this person to message me in the way they did.
Why do I seem to be backpedaling a bit here? After doing a bit more detective work, I have a bit of sympathy for this person. The whole time I was in conversation with Chris_Halasz and writing about "him" I assumed that "his" name was Chris. Wrong. Reading the twitter bio made me realize that SHE is actually named Christina. Makes a bit of a difference when googling, doesn't it?
So yesterday I went back down the rabbit hole and discovered a bit more about this person. First google sighting from a poster named Stigmada:
"She posts here as "Dilgal" among other-- dozens of other psudonyms. She has been in charge of U.S. defense strategy for decades and look where it got us. We can all enjoy the forcible insertion of hard plastic into the collective pocketbook... All so she can fill the press with stories of her "platinum-lined swimming pool". Her cocaine habit alone must be in the millions... And we are concerned that Christina will not be able to stay on budget. Welcome to tipsy-turvy land, everybody. Christina Halasz is too much of a "crack !$%*!$ and "too big a spender" because she will not UAE public funds to force Bill Gates to buy her 7 million dollar diamond lingere"
This post is found in the comments section on the Dilbert Blog by Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic. This person mentions the right name and seems eerily similar to the types of comments I was receiving.
The comments focused around a post from Scott Adams himself:
"I decided to not delete all of the crazy Canadian stalker comments coming in today so you could see what I have been dealing with for about seven years. Just sit back and watch. It's fascinating in its own way. Her comments are on the strip page as well as here.
She might change her user name from Stigmada sometime today, but it will be pretty obvious which comments are hers."
So, crazy Canadian stalker who has been badgering him for 7 years named Stigmada and mentions the name Christina Halasz in her posts? Jackpot.
One commenter thinks Stigmada and Christina are one in the same:
"Is it just me, or did she call herself out?
I don't wish to over-reach in coming to a conclusion, and if I am wrong I certainly apologize (feel free to delete this post, Scott), but in one of her stylized rant/postings, it seemed to me that stigmada referred to herself as Christina Halasz (from Grimsby, Canada). It is obviously a bit difficult to discern from the rambling writing, but the post wherein this name is disclosed seemed a little bit like a person replaying an imagined personal insult in their own mind, and spewing it out for all to see.
A quick google search on this name results in more than a couple interesting comments posted in response to blogs, articles, videos, etc. One that caught my eye is at: http://v1.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081126.wmhlonely1127/CommentStory/mentalhealth/
This is an old article from April 2009, wherein Christina Halasz comments on the story - I believe the sentence structuring is similar to what Stigmada posts.
Also, Bill Gates has given a couple of Ted talks (great site, by the way), and noting that Stigmada has mentioned "Melinda" as well as "Bill Gates", I googled Christina Halasz and Bill Gates, and came up with the following: http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html
This is Bill Gates' Ted talk on Energy, and in the comments, there is a Christina Halasz that has provided a comment, again which reads a lot like Stigmada.
Again, I don't wish to unjustifiably equate these two people, but the fact that Stigmada used this name seemed significant. However, it is totally possible that maybe this Christina Halasz is actually another "stalkee" of Stigmada's, and if that is the case, I do indeed apologize."
I tend to agree.
Where the discussion really begins to get interesting is the debate over whether or not this is a real person or a text-generating program...basically an evil robotic troll, every forum member's nightmare. Here's another example of her writing for you to judge:
Yes, that reminds me-- I did call the office of Scott's employers and I spoke to the woman who managed his licensing and that of the peanuts franchise and found out his editor is also active all over heae blogs, and they were all three of them complicit in the scandal to try and muscle me out of ownership of a cartoon I developed many years ago called, The Purple Planet, which Disney badly wants to own. There have been ongoing threats of murder and sabotage, countless thefts of intellectual property, stalking, with my kids approached by large men in hoods while lit walking their dog-- the list goes on. Using my ex-husband to try and murder and rob me was the past straw. My deceased father-in-law also tried to hire lawyers to help my ex-husband steal it from me, claiming I "did not do the work", when I conceived the entire premise and all the designs-- all because they do not want any nosy moms interfering with their ki ddy p orn agenda. My understanding is these people all work for the Jewish bankers in NYC."
And a summary from one poster of the conspiracies she has spoken of:
What do you think?
The forum members have a few opinions. A number of them think it's a text generation program:
"I agree with R.Saunders. Some of the comments seem too random and meaningless to be generated by any human intelligence. It could be a text generating program. It could even be an "auto-stalker" program set up to automatically switch IP's and usernames on some timetable. A few select words and names could also be "seeded" into the program occasionally, to make attacks seem more personal and give it a semblance of continuity, otherwise it could run on its own. I wonder if such a program could develop it's own consciousness? Maybe it is a combination of many programs running on the internet simultaneously. Wow, you could be the first person to be stalked by the internet itself!!!
[She's real. Unfortunately she makes phone calls too. And her (ex?) husband is a cartoonist, but not one you would be familiar with.]"
Others think it's a person with paranoid schizophrenia:
"Wow. Two of my interests sharing a single website. Dilbert and brain disorders. Thanks for letting us see this situation. For me it is very valuable since getting to view a disorder 'in situ' does not happen very often in my life (thankfully) and this is interesting and informative.
The brain when functioning well is a marvel to behold and when it malfunctions it can reveal even more of its capacity. Delusions are just as real to the ill as reality is to the rest of us. After all, we interpret what happens based on what our brain tells us - so does stigmada.
Getting someone the help they need can be tragically hard. If she functions well enough and is not a threat to herself or others then it would be unlikely she would be forced into treatment. Hopefully the kids are getting help to deal with this situation. She will likely spin in her circle just as she is unless she gets worse.
My sympathies to her family and to Scott Adams - and to the others she probably stalks as well. I hope she can be helped soon."
And another poster has taken it upon themselves to do a bit more detective work:
"I almost hate the fact that I've taken this up as a bit of a detective mystery that should have a findable solution, if findable is indeed a word. I hate it, because I feel guilty about trying to find the identity of this ostensibly paranoid schizophrenic person that, if she/he/it is real, then probably could use medication, more than she/he/it needs to have their real identity found.
So, it appears that we have three schools of thought - 1) Stigmada is a real person that is actually crazy and in dire need of meds; 2) Stigmada is a troll (soooo 1990's); or 3) Stigmada is a random text generator.
Stigmada has offered several clues as to her identity:
a) Referred to Christina Halasz in a self-referential manner
b) Has two children - son, daughter, probably removed from the home by child protective services
c) Referred to discussions with Niagara Family Services
d) Grandfather died in an asylum in 1960
e) Saxe-Coburg and Gotha bloodline
I think these point to her being a real person that sometimes may use the ID of Christina Halasz in posting similar crazy comments to other forums. For instance on the Ted forum that I posted earlier, her ID has a rating of -382, meaning she has probably posted many many times with similar results to this forum (when her posts aren't deleted). So, a point in favor of troll.
However, if you pursue the real person theory, it certainly can be noted that there is indeed an entity that can be construed as Niagara Family Services (actually Family and Children's Services Niagara), that has three offices in Ontario (St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Welland), and these three locations are all close to Grimsby, Ontario, wherein the person that may be the troll that may be Christina Halasz has indicated where she is from in other forums. Also, the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha bloodline is certainly consistent with the surname Halasz. So the !$%*!$%*!$%*!$ evidence is such that this is a person who is Christina Halasz or is a person pretending to be Christina Halasz.
Also, the real person (who happens to have some mental issues) theory would in fact be bolstered by Child Protective Services taking children away and putting them in foster care, which has been referenced multiple times in Stigmada's posts.
I for one would vote for the real person theory, and don't think that it's a typical internet troll (although I'd love to hear a real psychologist's interpretation of a typical internet troll's personality traits)."
I did a bit more googling and I'm pretty convinced that sadly this is a real person who exhibits some delusional characteristics. I feel bad for this person, I really do. And I can only hope that she is able to find some peace in her life as the hell that she must go through on a daily basis must be truly horrible.
Do I regret writing two blog posts about this? I'm not sure. I think it was really interesting and I hope I treated this subject with enough respect and didn't stoop to making fun of this person. Some might think that it's a bit exploitative for me to post about this on my blog. They may be right. But this really is just a personal place for me to express what interests me and what's going on in my life. I broadcast it out as I'm looking to start conversations with people.
I can tell you this - it really consumed my mind for the past few days, that's for sure!
So, Christina Halasz. I hope this post finds you well.
P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. A word of note, don't search the words "bizarre" or "strange" in google images or you'll have nightmares for a week!