When I was a young boy my mother gave me some advice: When it comes to people who feel the overwhelming need to trash talk, the best thing you can do is ignore them, and hope that (eventually) they'll get tired of their little entertainment and wander off to torment a new target. I try to heed that advice, even several decades later, with mixed results. I am certainly better at it at 39 than at 9.
However, there comes a point when someone makes enough of a nuisance of themselves that I feel I must reply in some capacity, if only to refute the accusation of "guilt by silence" that mental midgets feel is evidence enough of something illicit.
It is especially egregious in the case of someone who thinks that trashing me via instant messaging and e-mail to people that I have known for years will somehow remain "secret". Let's make something clear right now: No one is talking behind your back. We're talking right out in the open about your slurs and outright slander (and I use that word deliberately) regarding my character and actions with adults, all over the age of 25 (and then some).
What's particularly insulting is your macho pseudo-paternal protectiveness, as if none of the women in question were capable of kicking my ass. You've insisted on perpetuating rumor and innuendo, even after people who know me first hand have pointed out to you that many of your so-called "facts" have holes large enough to drive a truck through. When people defend me, you've gone as far as to insult their intelligence and to insist I have some sort of svengaliesque power over their ability to reason.
That might fly if we were talking about a few people who had no idea that the others existed. Unfortunately, it's not so easy in the real world, when ALL of the people in question are not only aware of the other's existence, but often compare notes. Since I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a saint (or even close!) this means that every time I screw up in any way I am certain to get called on it.
Now, you've presented me with a bit of a puzzle: I honestly really don't give a damn what you think about me. In fact, aside from the fact you've annoyed people I care about, I wouldn't normally care if you clucked and gossiped about the evils of Yohannon for the rest of your natural life, however long that would be. I have endured far worse in the past, usually at the hands of far more competent muck-rakers than yourself. However, you've crossed a line when you make comments about individuals approaching you to have me killed -- last time I checked (and I should note, I'm NOT a lawyer!) that's considered "conspiracy to commit murder", and is fairly serious. Several other comments you've made to people directly and indirectly accuse me of unethical and criminal acts, both personally and professionally. That's slander, and (again, I'd have to check with my lawyer) I'm fairly certain that's actionable.
At this point where this goes is up to you. I understand you have this odd idea that we should settle this "man to man". Sorry, but you have absolutely no basis to have anything to do with me. I desire nothing from you, not your friendship, respect, or anything else you seem to think I would want. I would hope you would drop this and go on with your life. However, if you insist on documenting these attacks (which you do with every e-mail and instant message), I will compile every word forwarded to me and explore my legal options.
In closing, I should note that accusing me of being a "chicken shit" a bit specious considering the covert way you've gone about trying to smear me. Personally, I have no issue with bringing this into the light of day, which is why I'm sending a copy of this e-mail to the people in question (and bluntly it's none of your business who), and posting this response publicly on my journal online. From now on ALL responses, e-mails, chats, sent to me or anyone else, WILL be posted there as well. I am not ashamed of my conduct or actions -- are you?
By the way, that's a rhetorical question -- I don't expect or desire any further communication from you. If I hear nothing more from anyone, I'll consider this matter closed.