Deceptive practice by "organization for education"
I'd like to do something about this, but neither the FTC, the BBB, nor the AG seem to be the places to turn to.
I belong to an Internet group for women on the Asperger's spectrum. Membership is free, and the group also has a Facebook page. I started to notice recently that the woman running the organization is something of a troublemaker, and I've discovered that some of the information appearing on her web site is false.
I first heard that she's disruptive at the least when a friend of mine clashed with this woman, whom I'll call "Liz." I don't remember what my friend said or did to anger her, but "Liz" called him "a moron." He told me that the episode left him feeling that she's "disturbed" in some way.
Recently she posted a comment on the organization's FB page saying that the unemployed are out of work because they're lazy, and that they don't have work because they don't want to work. She's entitled to her political opinions, but comments like that are unprofessional and they have no place in a forum for women dealing with Asperger's. I posted a comment of my own disagreeing with what she said. I wasn't abusive or even strident. I was totally respectful. She replied with at least three, and possibly four long, ranting reply comments just to restate her belief that the unemployed are all lazy bums who could find work if they really wanted to. Within 24 hours she deleted the entire thread.
That raised red flags for me, so I started checking her out. "Liz" says that her group is not a 501c3 non-profit, but it isn't a for-profit organization, either. She says that she does not ask for donations, but she doesn't say where she gets the funding for running the organization. She says it isn't an advocacy organization, but that its purpose is to provide educational information for women on the Asperger's spectrum.
I visited the organization's web site, and checked out the listed Board of Directors members, and found their contact information. I emailed four of them, and three replied. They said that they pulled out of Board membership shortly after "Liz" started the organization because "red flags" started appearing and they didn't like the way "Liz" was running the organization. One of the women forwarded to me an email she sent to "Liz" insisting that "Liz" remove her name from the Board list on the site. I just checked, and the Board list remains the same, with these women still listed.
I also found something deceptive on her FB page. She names herself as running the organization, and lists three "administrators." Only one of those administrators looks to be an actual, real person. The two others are her, with two false identities and two FB accounts. I learned this by going to the organization's My Space site (long story).
As I said earlier, membership and registration with the group is free. But I'm one of the women who turn to the organization as a source of support. "Liz" claims to be an Aspie herself. If she's as knowledgeable as she says she is about Asperger's, she should know that employment is a challenge for Aspies, and many of the group's members face those challenges. They're entitled to know that the organization is a safe place for them to share their concerns. And beyond that, there are "Liz's" deceptive practices.
Since this isn't a service we're paying for (and "Liz" is hazy about the exact nature of her organization and its funding), I don't know if there is any agency that would look into this or take action. Does anyone have any advice?
If there's no money involved, what exactly is there to take action against?
Starting your own website/support group seems like the way out if you don't like the current one.
I know, Barry G, since there's no money involved, the only people who can take action are the people who resigned from the Board years ago but are still listed as Board members. It just aroused my sense of justice. Lies and deception rile me. And I've seen her get abusive with people on her FB page a couple of times.
Originally Posted by BarryG
Just an update. It looks like I set something in motion. I emailed four of the people this woman lists as her "Board members." Three of them replied to say they resigned years ago. Now they've issued a public note on Facebook and on Twitter, demanding that this woman remove them from her list of Board members. And more and more people are coming forward publicly, mostly on FB, saying that they've been harassed, bullied, and cyber-stalked by this woman, but they were afraid to speak out until now because they're afraid of what this woman is capable of. She has five FB IDs that I've been able to find, and possibly more. I assume she has the multiple IDs because she knows that once she starts cyber-stalking people, they block her. This way she can observe those people without their knowledge. Everyone I've contacted privately about her has told me that either they, or someone they know, has been bullied and harassed by her. She's been libeling people, but she's a millionaire, and she goes after people she knows can't afford to fight back. People outside of U.S. jurisdiction have a degree of protection from her, but she did have the phone number of a woman in Australia who had to change her phone number because this woman called her, making shrieking, obscene calls to her.
So to answer your question, BarryG, libel is something to take action against. One woman she is libeling is looking for an attorney to represent her. I'm pretty sure I've got myself blocked in a way that this woman doesn't know how to contact me, doesn't know who I am or where I am, and she can't hurt me, at least for now.
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