The comments’ thread on a story about John Tighe seemed to be going pretty well until the subject of Scott Johnson got in the way. For those of you who don’t know – Scott is a former Amway member who learned that the nation’s largest MLM company was not meant to do anything but enrich its top-level people.
Scott has taken to commenting on Frank Report and, to his credit, in his own name. He likes to criticize commenters to the point where numerous people have now asked me to ban him. One contributor quit writing because I wouldn’t do it. Other notable ex-NXIVM members said they stopped reading Frank Report because of Scott. Almost every day, I get a new request to ban Scott. Some of these people are true NXIVM fighters – and they wonder why I allow Scott to “ruin the comments’ section.”
I don’t know if “ruin” is quite the right word, but I do wince sometimes when approaching the comments knowing there will be a vicious tirade of back and forth between Scott and his detractors. Some of them impersonated Scott. Some use Scott in their moniker – and then attack him. Recently, I have been deleting comments by and against Scott – but I find I can’t always be near a computer to delete them so they often stay online while readers are most actively engaged with a story.
The reason I have not banned Scott is I like him. We never met, but we’ve spoken several times on the phone and I did appear on his radio show via telephone. I could not have asked for a better, more engaged, polite host. It was a good show. I have no idea how many people listened or what the audience reaction was, but I was pleased to participate and Scott was, in my opinion, a very good on-air host. I have no idea why a man can be so polite on his radio show and so contentious with my readers.
Which brings me back to John Tighe’s thread which will serve as an illustration of what I am writing about.
As of a few moments ago [3:18 pm, Oct. 12, 2018; about 18 hours after posting the story, there were 86 comments. More than 5,000 words were written by various commenters. Let’s look at the Scott factor.
A person using the moniker Saratoga Native commented that she or he met with Joe O’Hara and John Tighe. It was an extremely informative and intelligent post.
Within 45 minutes Scott commented sarcastically, “I think it’s great that 2 convicted felons got along together.”
Shadowstate1958 commented that “Rodger Kirsopp and the New York State Police need to be investigated” on Tighe’s conviction and compared it to a case in Chicago Heights, Illinois where the Deputy Police Chief turned out to be on the drug trafficker’s payroll.
Within an hour, Scott Johnson wrote sarcastically, “Thanks for another Chicago-based story, Captain Obvious.”
One of Scott’s detractors wrote a lengthy comment about Scott:
“Scott Johnson does not have constructive things to contribute to this blog. He is an agitator to other posters and is disruptive to the purpose of this blog. Scott also displays signs of psychological issues that his actions on the blog point to the fact that he needs to be in therapy, the need for medication or the medication he is taking isn’t working.
“Scott acts out his internal conflicts and ignores normal rules of social behavior. He shows signs of being impulsive, irresponsible, and callous in his reaction to other posters. His belligerent and irresponsible behavior is aggressive and verbally abusive toward others. Scott shows no respect for other people and feels no remorse about the effects his behavior has on others. This type of behavior points to a high risk for substance abuse, especially alcoholism or other addictions since it helps to relieve tension, irritability, and boredom. It appears Scott has not found success at any real purpose in life.
“Scott appears unstable in several areas, including interpersonal relationships and acts out this behavior and his moodiness in his postings. These types of behavior are a direct reflection of his self-image. He is abrupt and has a stormy interpersonal relationship with most people who post on the blog. Scott displays great difficulty with his sense of identity and his need to have others ‘click on his name, go to his website and listen to his radio show.’ He continues to self-promote on a blog that has nothing to do with what he says he is attempting to do with his life.
“Scott likes to point out that other posters are bad, stupid and or cowards. He has an excessive dependency on The Frank Report to prove he’s an important force in the world. He uses The Frank Report to get attention and tries to manipulate others into going to his site or radio show. His impulsive actions and bouts of intense, inappropriate anger towards other posters is a trait of a serious psychological problem.
“Another factor is Scott’s exaggerated sense of self-importance, and he is absorbed in the fantasies of his success as a blogger and radio host. He seeks constant attention to prove his success. His actions towards others is deliberately threatening or demeaning, but he sees it as a normal socially acceptable way to behave. He displays this throughout his history of posts on the Frank Report.
“Since so many people who visit the blog have already been in this type of abusive relationships, my question to Frank is why are you allowing Scott to re-abuse others? Free speech doesn’t mean others have the right to be abusive and especially when many have already been abused in the Cult of NXIVM.
“Scott is responsible for his behavior, but Frank you are allowing him to re-offend time and time again. My question to you is why? Frank, you said you would move him to his Corner, but you have lied to those who come to your blog since it has not fixed the Scott issue. Scott continues to act out in an abusive manner, and you are allowing it. You continuing to allow Scott to have free rein makes you a part of the problem Frank. Do the right thing and ban Scott from this blog.”
Scott replied “…says the anonymous coward who has never even met me. Stay inside on sunny days, you’re probably scared of your own shadow.”
Anonymous wrote, “Scott is mentally ill for sure.”
Deep Throat wrote Scott is an “Asshole.”
Scott replied “Anonymous, you’re not only cowardly, but also an @asshole. Way to go, a 2-fer.”
Linseed wrote, “… I posted for one of the first few times a day or two ago and was attacked immediately … by Scott. For no good reason. Although he did post a link to an informative article afterwards. Still, the first response was brash and extremely rude. People that post on this blog shouldn’t have to expect to defend themselves should they speak.”
Scott replied, “Everyone should be expected to defend themselves when they speak. If you expect to be believed without defending yourself, then you’re acting just like NXIVM, Amway, and other MLM scams do. That’s not a good idea.”
Another reader, choosing to be anonymous, wrote, “I know several people who will no longer post under their own names or even read the comments and some have stopped visiting the site altogether because Frank is allowing Scott to persist in making these sad and appalling personal attacks….. Blocking … URL’s is the only way to keep this blog from again being overtaken by Scott’s mental illness under all its manifestations.”
Another reader, Ban Scoot, wrote, “Hahaha hahaha Scott is an idiot and needs to be banned. Frank is shooting himself in the foot by allowing Scooter to keep posting. I know of several people who know a lot of insider information into NXIVM who won’t come to the blog anymore and I won’t share any information either because of Scooter and Frank not blocking him.”
Scott replied, “Frank is like me, he believes in free speech. We know cowards don’t, that’s part of what makes up being a coward.”
Just Sayin’ wrote of Frank Report contributors, Laura and Lana Darby, “I particularly miss the Darby sisters.”
Scott wrote, “What magical things did the Darby sisters contribute?”
Then Scott wrote, “I don’t miss any of the cowards. I’ve never posted a comment here that wasn’t under my name. That makes you a liar as well as a coward. You are the one with the mental illness, you want the comments to be a pretend NXIVM/Amway la-la-land.”
Another writer wrote, “Once again Scotty Boy is blowing hot air, he just cannot help himself since he has serious psychological issues. He also was not taught by his mama to have manners and be respectful. He acts like a clown with every word he types. Scotty Boy acts like a frustrated angry 13-year-old and refuses to answer perfectly good questions about his background on a platform where he blows his hot angry air.
“Instead Scotty’s projections of himself come through like a bright light. He is such a coward that he hides like a crybaby behind his website and radio show but it’s only a feeble attempt to boost his numbers. Stupid is what stupid does which means reading or listening to anything else he has to say, is a waste of time. Due to his lack of success in anything he attempts to do, he needs to ride on the tails of those of us who have actually done work and risk ourselves in exposing NXIVM and those within the leadership that are criminals.
“Scotty Boy goes on and on about how Amway is a scam but refuses to come clean with why he joined, how long he was involved, how many people he sucked into Amway and why he’s so angry that he is/was a failure in a company that has been around since 1957.
“Scotty compares Amway to NXIVM which is the biggest joke and shows how stupid and self-absorbed he really is. He continues to indulge himself in his own self importance. His posts show all of us his total lack of self-esteem which he acts out with name calling and this blogs bully . It makes me wonder if Scotty is being paid by Clare Bronfman to be a TROLL on the Frank Report.
“Scotty believes that Amway was a gateway ‘drug’ for Keith Raniere to do the crimes he has been charged with. If that is true, than Scotty shouldn’t be far behind Raniere since he was a scammer himself. He’s attempting to scam us all into believing he has something intelligent to say. If anyone owes an apology to the readers of the Frank Report it’s Potty Mouth Scotty.”
Scott quickly replied, “…says the little baby after she puts down her sippy cup because she can’t read or listen on her own and demands to be spoon-fed answers to numerous questions upon demand. What a temper tantrum!”
Another writer posted, “Scott just proved the posters’ points. Mental case for sure.”
Scott replied, “In your dreams. It’s time you got your diapers changed again, little baby.”
Anonymous wrote, “…. John was Nx enemy #1 due to his blog. Frank beware!”
Scott replied “Frank should be aware that hardly anybody on this website has his back, because they refuse to post using their real names. This means any ill-will coming from NXIVM will be focused like a lazer beam on Frank. Way to go, COWARDS.”
Another writer commented, “No, Scott. Some of that blame is focused ‘like a laser beam’ on your own ill and ‘ill-willed’ head. You’re on this site anonymously and under other names thinking NXIVM nastiness can cover-up for your even nastier alter ego antics. That’s truly ‘idiotic’ and ‘cowardly.’”
Scott replied, “You were anonymous before I got here and will probably always be anonymous, because that’s what cowards do. You are also a liar, as I have never posted a single comment here that wasn’t under my name. A cowardly, anonymous, liar. Quite the reputation!”
Another writer commented, directing the message to Scott, “You bully anyone who dares use their real name the most, Scott. Because those are most threatening to your position of superior ‘courage’ using your own name — which you only do about half the time you post. Joe’s using his ‘real’ name and you’re only taking advantage of that. Why would anyone use their real name with you around?”
Orange County Dreams wrote, “It’s very interesting that Joe, with his insight and information, doesn’t seem to be welcome here. Every time he posts, he is attacked. So, only the pure, righteous and the brave (in certain people’s opinions), may post here?”
Agreed wrote, “Scott’s being an asshole to Joe and it’s uncalled for.”
Anonymous wrote, “Correction. Scott is an Asshole.”
Scott replied, “Call me whatever name you want, but I’m not a convicted felon.”
Anonymous wrote, “You’re worse,.. you’re a butthead being paid by Clare Bronfman to disrupt the blog.”
Scott replied, “I’m proud of myself for drawing out nutjobs like you.”
Shadowstate1958 wrote, “As far as I’m concerned Joe is always welcome here. Joe did a lot of work to uncover the Crimes of NXIVM. Joe took a lot of risks speaking Truth to Power. And Joe O’Hara is a brave man who never calls other people “cowards” for using pen names.”
Scott replied, “As usual, you distort Captain Obvious.”
Shadowstate1958 asked Scott, “Why are you offended by my comment? Not once in my comment did I mention you by name.”
Scott replied, “Did I say I was offended? I did not, and I am not. If you didn’t mention me by name, why do you think you offended me?”
Anonymous wrote, “Mr. O’Hara’s posts were very insightful and led to other avenues of investigation. It was wrong for him to be attacked by Scott ….”
Scott replied, “If I recall, Joe’s lawsuit was thrown out of court. How do you know what he did led to other avenues of investigation? Why is it wrong to question the source of information?”
Another commenter wrote, “It’s one thing to post a different perspective that challenges the author of the article. But what you do, Scotty boy, isn’t anything close to that. You simply attack everybody and provide virtually no meaningful alternative viewpoints to anything. In the past you did provide some alternative info, but those days are long gone. You’ve morphed into a crabby, angry old man who just likes picking fights for no reason other than personal gratification. Why are you such a bastard? Why can’t you be a nice guy for even one day? How does your wife handle being around a crabby old asshole 24/7? You have nothing nice to say to anybody ever. Why are you shitting all over Joe without even knowing him?
Scott quickly replied, “Time to change your diaper, little baby.”
Another reader wrote, “Why are you picking a fight with Joe? What does he have to apologize for? What did he do that’s so bad? Isn’t he friends with Frank?”
Scott replied, “What makes you think I’m picking a fight with Joe, you anonymous coward? Ever hear of the internet? Look him up. It’s important to consider the source of information, and Joe is a convicted felon. I couldn’t care less who Joe’s friends are, I care about whether he is a reliable source of information.”
The reader then replied, “Oh, thanks for answering my question in such a polite and mature fashion. 🙂 As for Joe being a convicted felon, so what? Aren’t you the one who spent 2 decades in a scam organization while trying to entice more people to join underneath you so that you could scam them out of money too? How many scamway tool sets (worthless tapes) did you encourage others to buy before finally leaving? How many lives did you ruin by encouraging them to max out their credit cards to buy Amway tool sets and then file for bankruptcy? Therefore if Joe needs to apologize for being a felon in the past, then you also need to apologize for being a lifetime MLM scammer in the past, for 20 years. Why do you get forgiveness, but not Joe? Now apologize! 🙂
“Didn’t you also get sued and agree to a settlement which let Amway prevent you from talking to their members/distributors? Didn’t you bow down and kiss Amway’s butt in that settlement? hahaha. Didn’t you also go ‘undercover’ and waste 5 years of your life trying to bring down Amway from the inside, only to fall flat on your face and fail in that quest? When you finally woke up from your Amway nightmare, you were only 65 years old. Joe seems just fine to me, when compared to the likes of Amway Scott Johnson.”
Scott replied, “Come on my radio show and I’ll answer all of your questions. But you’re probably too big of a coward to do that. But you can get all of your questions answered on my websites, just click on my name. COWARD.
Scott also wrote, “We first need a detailed apology from Joe regarding all of his criminal convictions. Then, we can listen to him.”
Anonymous Coward wrote, “Who cares if he’s a convicted felon? He can still be a good guy and an impeccable source of information on this issue. … As far as being a reliable source of information – I did listen to half of an episode of your show once – talk about unverified conspiracy theory speculative clap-trap. It was so nauseating that I couldn’t even finish a whole episode. I find it ironic that you, of all people, are piously pontificating about the purity of sources of information….. It was depressing because I had the same opinions on the matter that you did, but mine were based in boring facts. You were spreading absolute lecherous garbage. While it may be much more personally gratifying to engage in raw speculation, that never wins anyone over. But what more could I expect from someone who got sucked into the Amway scheme…”
Scott replied “Then you should have no problem coming on my radio show and putting me in my place…except you probably won’t because you’re a COWARD.”
Anonymous wrote, “We need a detailed apology from your Mama, Scott,”
WMOM Radio wrote, “You will have to go on her radio show to get an apology.”
Anonymous wrote, “Tell us Scooter, why won’t you answer questions regarding yourself?”
Scott replied, “Asked and answered. Any other stupid questions?”
Out of more than 5,000 words of comments, about 3,000 pertained to Scott and/or were written by Scott – yet the post was about John Tighe.
It seems the problem starts with Scott attacking or insulting commenters who are on topic. Then Scott’s detractors attack him and he responds and the thread gets off topic and on to Scott.
If Clare Bronfman were paying to disrupt this website, this would be a good method of doing it. But I think the disruption is not making anyone any money – and that all of the Scott distraction is being done by volunteers. I don’t see how it helps this website or me in any way.
So I may heed the advice of so many: If commenters gratuitously attack other commenters just for their offering an opinion, I will consider banning the offenders. It’s the polite thing to do.
If you had a party and invited friends – and my readers are my friends – and one or more of them came over and just insulted all your other friends – you probably would not invite them to your next party.