Stop the GR Bullies has repeatedly claimed none of the people behind the site – Athena Parker, Peter Pan, Stitch and Johnny Be Good – are authors. According to their “Who We Are” page, they’re readers, bloggers and Goodreads members. The thing is, aside from the fact that it makes no sense a group of readers would care that much about how someone else rates or reviews (just don’t be friends with them and/or block them, like the other 9,999,000-odd Goodreads users who’ve probably never even heard of the very people who’ve supposedly “taken over” the site), there is compelling evidence that at least one of these personas, Athena Parker, is an author. That she is, in fact, Melissa Douthit, a self-published author who has a history of harassing the very reviewers who have been targeted by Stop the GR Bullies – and who also has a history of “outing” personal details of Goodreads members as “revenge”. Melissa Douthit was one of the first people to be suspected of creating Stop the GR Bullies, because of this history. It wasn’t long before a Google search or two provided some pretty damning evidence against her. It’s been an open secret for months that many believe Melissa Douthit is Athena Parker.
When Stop the GR Bullies ran an absurd post on sockpuppets recently, author Ann Somerville decided it was time Melissa Douthit stop being allowed to hide behind her own suspected alias, Athena (Note: Melissa Douthit also has a long history of using sockpuppets – when she was kicked off Goodreads, her multiple sockpuppets were also removed). Ann posted just some of the evidence that ties Melissa Douthit to Athena on her blog. Interestingly, Ann’s site was then suddenly removed from Stop the GR Bullies’ “Blogs to Avoid” list in their sidebar. Could it be they don’t want to draw attention to her site because her revelation exposes their lies?
Read Ann’s blog, including the comments, for some of the convincing evidence that Melissa Douthit is Athena Parker. If it’s true (and the evidence suggests it is), it’s just another thing Stop the GR Bullies have lied about.
Make up your own mind – I’ve made up mine. Based on the evidence, I believe Melissa Douthit is Athena Parker.
Update: Within hours of this post being published, STGRB mysteriously got an anon comment about the removal of Ann Somerville from their “Blogs to Avoid” list. It was a “mistake” apparently (and Peter Pan doesn’t pay attention to what happens on her own site? Ha!). Ann’s blog has now been re-added to the list. STGRB have once again attempted to retcon their own blog. I just think it’s interesting that Ann’s name disappeared from that list when she posted about Melissa Douthit, and it reappeared when the suggestion was made that this could be used as evidence that Ann was right.
Stop the GR Bullies are really scraping the bottom of the barrel. They seem to have run out of instances of authors supposedly being bullied, and are now gleefully reporting that the GR “bullies” are turning on each other. This idea is preposterous, because it’s based on the notion that the “bullies” are part of some conspiracy, all working together with the sole purpose to identify, target and attack poor authors. As though Kat Kennedy, The Holy Terror, Ridley, Lucy, Archer and Lissa et al. are some sort of homogenous group (or readersheep, as Stacia Kane so brilliantly put it). Frankly, it’s just bullshit. The reason I’m bringing it up is because STGRB take any sign of discord amongst these people as “cracks”, as though they’re achieving some kind of victory and are slowly bringing the group down. This is just more bullshit.
The TRUTH – which I know STGRB aren’t exactly on good terms with, but they need to face it – the TRUTH is, there is no organised, homogenous “group” or “gang”. There is a community of book bloggers and reviewers, sure. Many of them are friends, some run blogs together and some are even in relationships. That does not mean they agree with each other about everything. That does not mean they act together as a group or form and speak the same opinions about everything. Of course sometimes they may, say, add certain books at the same time, to similar shelves (eg: “to read”, “not in this life” or “I’d rather listen to Mariah Carey”), but this isn’t the result of some organised, premeditated action. It’s because Goodreads is a social networking site, and when your friend makes a comment or shelves a book, it shows up on your homepage. If your curiousity is piqued, you look further into it and may find you agree with your friend. You, as an individual, may then make a comment or shelve a book based on your own opinion. That’s right, folks, there is no conspiracy. It’s just freaking social networking.
But I want to point out that while some of the targeted reviewers are friends, not all of them are. OK, they may have shelves in common, because they’ve witnessed the same events (read: author meltdowns) or have mutual friends and have come across the same information. But just because you (I’m looking at you, STGRB) lump them together as “bullies”, it does not mean they are cohorts or even friends. It doesn’t mean they even like each other.
Now, it’s hard to provide evidence about the fact that there’s no conspiracy, because, well, when something doesn’t exist, it leaves no evidence. But anyone can see, for instance, that Ridley is not friends with Kat Kennedy or Archer on Goodreads – and wasn’t before STGRB appeared to accuse them of working together. And you need only look at the “evidence” provided by STGRB themselves to see that this is by no means a homogenous group. In fact, despite STGRB suggesting this shows they’re winning in some way, all it shows is just how wrong they are. It completely undermines their own assertion that these people are a gang of bullies who work together to target authors. It doesn’t prove they’re turning against each other – it simply shows they never were “together” in the first place, not in the sense that STGRB implies.
In closing, Conspiracy Keanu has something to say…