Monday, October 15, 2007

biting the hand that doesn't feed me

I've been doing a lot of reading, in between having a life. Spending too much time thinking about this again, at least more time than I'd like to be spending. Score twentyzillion for Janna Saint James. But fuck me, this shit's been dredged up again, and it is a part of my life, unfortunate though it may be, and when you hear from friends (and enemies) about the fucking article, it's like the scab's been picked raw.

It's interesting to read what complete strangers have to say about this: it's real, it's fake, "Jesse" exists but faked his own death and Janna is covering for him (hey, whose soap opera is this?), it's Janna's fault, it's my fault, it's society's fault, it's Josh's fault, it's the internet's fault (I'm sure a tighty righty somewhere will blame Al Gore for this). Whatevs. Opinions are like assholes, remember? Armchair analysts will pontificate till the llamas come home (what's the internet obsession with llamas, anyway? someone please to explain).

I've covered this before, but let's assume "Jesse" is real, some guy friend of Janna's who wanted to extricate himself from this "relationship" we had. Why was he imploring me to get a divorce right up until three days before he croaked? Okay, he's mentally unbalanced, who knows what a bipolar person is likely to do, right? But faking a death? Janna and his "ex-wife" and "friends" and "therapist" and six-year old "SON" all still talking to me for seven months afterward, all pretending "Jesse" is dead? Are they ALL insane? Janna going on a VACATION with me on "Jesse's" birthday and crying real tears in front of me, missing him? Uh, okay, sure. Contributing to a tribute blog for the not-really-dead man in their midst? Janna's coming to LA to visit me? Okay, they're all fucking nuts. But Janna was their frontman, then, by her choice, and even if this is the case it still ain't goddamned acceptable.

And why did "Jesse's" sister "Alice" send me that photo of "Jesse" and "Rhys" that was titled JohnJessicaVista.jpg? John was Janna's deceased husband, Jessica her daughter. "Alice" despised Janna, what the fuck would she be doing with a 25-year-old photo of Janna's first husband and baby? And why did they look EXACTLY like the other pictures I'd seen up to that point of "Jesse" and "Rhys?" (I dunno, but I'll bet Janna will have a faaaabulous explanation for that!) So let's go with Janna's future explanation about how she allowed "Jesse" to use photos of her dead husband and pretend they were him, and that she and "Alice" are really thick as thieves, or that she was at "Jesse's" ranch and left that photo in their scanner. Let's instead turn to things that cain't lie. Technology. Funny what looking at the headers of the eleventy-billion emails turned up when I had geeks who could interpret all of that for me. Amazing that emails from "Jesse's" friend "Pavlo" in Argentina, his brother "Aidan" (I am getting SO fucking tired of quotation marks) in goddamned Africa, his sister "Branna" in Eire, emails from "Jesse" in Paki-fucking-stan, all bounced from IP addresses originating in -- say it with me, kiddies -- Illinois. Christ, there was an email from "Jesse" in Colorado mere minutes before I got one from Janna in Batavia, and they had the SAME. EXACT. HEADER. That's some fucking coinkydink, wouldn't you say? So, maybe "Jesse" did exist, and all his friends and family exist, and maybe they all live in Batavia, Illinois. Peyton Place, watch the fuck out, you've got some seriousass competition. But hey, maybe you're right. Maybe "Jesse" just wanted to be shut of me. I guess some folks just don't know how to say goodbye.

Back to the matter at hand. Those armchair analysts.

What I really find astonishing is how many people seem to believe the article is accurate, and whether or not they criticize me for being either stupid, in denial, delusional, or all of the above, they seem to think that I enjoy playing the victim, that I'm getting off on this because of this blog, because I'm outlining what Janna St. James did to me in detail (i.e. "airing [my] dirty laundry", as someone out there on the internuts said). Now, let me get this straight, before I put you in Bill O'Reilly's corner. You think I enjoy this? You think I'm not sick to the eyeballs of all this crap? You think I don't have a moment (nay, many moments) every day where I just want to pull this whole fucking shit festival off the interwebs? You rationalize that my damage was negligible, she didn't do that much to me, aside from fuck with my head, screw up my capacity to do my job to my best ability, make me sick with grief for months, and accept thousands of dollars worth of gifts under extremely false pretenses? 'Scuse me, but what's your fucking definition of damage? You think I should just chalk it up to experience, shut the fuck up and slink away and let Janna do what she thinks she does best, give other people not as smart as any of you (no sirreeeeee) headfuck after headfuck, cajole gifts and love out of people until she drops dead, and perhaps beyond, depending on how many people (if any) are part of her coterie?

Who the FUCK are you people? Are you the same people who think if a woman dresses provocatively and gets raped that she was asking for it? So, because I was trusting, because I just assumed that the guy I was talking to on the phone for a year (whose phone number I had), his sister who I also talked to (whose phone number I also had), his many friends, his ex-wife, his child, his therapist, and the bitch Janna, who was real, to add to the confusion, because I believed all that and was taken for a seriousass ride, because I was strafed and humiliated and headfucked to the nth degree, I should at least have the dignity to keep my anger and pain to myself? It's fucknuts like you who keep victims from stepping into the light and shouting at the top of their lungs I AM AS MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE. (apologies to the late Messrs. Chayefsky and Finch)

I will not go gentle into this good night. FUCK no. I don't neeeeed your sympathy. I don't want it. What I do want is for Janna St. James to nip it in the fucking bud, and for any other online scumbags to have second thoughts before running a scam on someone, because some of us will fight back. Janna St. James will find it fucking difficult to pull this shit on anyone else, if I have anything to say about it. Victims should have a voice, and they should goddamned well not be afraid to use it.


Bindyree said...

[AOL] Me, too! [/AOL]

skooby said...

Like a lot of people I'm here from the article.

I just wanted to let you know that far from being sympathetic, if anything, I'm empathetic (which may not even be a word, but you get the drift). I've been involved (for a few years) with a website which quite probably does to others what Janna St. James did to you. Unfortunately it's gotten me so ensnared that I am incapable of taking that step backwards (despite glaring evidence pointing to it's bullshittery). Like you, people on this site have been royally headfucked - even to the point of believing they were dying. What can I's a long story. But if you ever feel like hearing a vaguely similar crazy story, I'd be happy to oblige. Actually when I read the article I started wondering whether Janna wasn't behind it in some mind sort of started protesting to the fact that there could be that many sick twisted individuals out there. But what am I saying...I know there are.

EDW said...

On the contrary, I think it's obvious that you're a very brave, strong, loving, generous, and intelligent woman. The world would be better if there were more people like you, and no one like Janna, and I think you do need to tell your story so that others can learn from it. Best of luck to you.

Jennifer Emick said...

I don't think being trusting and accepting people at face value are bad things. I doubt any of the critics are going out of their way to identity check every person they interact with on the web, either- they just think they'd be troo smart to be taken, which is what every con artists depends on.

It's easy to suspicious when you're on the outside, or for something to look obvious after it's been revealed. But a normal person doesn't log every minute of every interaction to see if all the details gibe. Usually when we catch someone in a deceit, it's because they make an obvious error. Even then, we want to believe in our friends, so we accept their explanations.

This woman was obviously taking great pains to cover the details, had some underlying reason for what she was's incomprehensible, but sick people do sick things. She migfht have even bought into her own fantasy somewhat. In any case, who could possibly guess someone cabable of such a scheme? I've seen all kinds of fraud, but most seem to be either the "give me money before they cut off my power" or "pay attention to me, I'm sick/dying/dead," sorts, or even lonely people who pretend to be someone else better looking or younger. I've never heard of anyone creating an entire cast of characters before!

Have you considered any legal action against this woman? This seems to go very frar beyond garden variety fraud, even the gift thing seems trivial next to the emotional cost- these sorts of frauds have cost people their lives, so it seems to me it's more than garden-variety mischief.

Anonymous said...

skooby - holy shit. Yes, sadly there appear to be tons of Jannas out there. Pull yourself out of it if you can. edw - thanks. jennifer - I was taking steps to litigate, talked to a few lawyers, but I'd have to sue her in Illinois and the amount of money I'd get from her is negligible, it'd probably barely cover the legal fees, and there's no guarantee she'd get the psychiatric help she so desperately needs. Or wait, are you talking about a criminal case? You think she could go to jail for this?

Jennifer Emick said...

I don't know, I think a lot depends on state laws, but possibly. At the very least, soliciting gifts using a false id is mail fraud, some states cyber-stalking laws m,ay apply.

A civil suit may not net any cash, but it's probable she would be forced to seek help and it's possible they may cut off her abolity to access the net if she's deemed a threat.

Chris said...

Unfortunately, there are many "Janna St. James" in the world... I've seen people do this, make up fake friends to vouch for someone else. Usually they're very selfish people who don't care whom they hurt on the way.

A said...

I cannot imagine how you feel, Audrey. This whole thing just makes me SICK and I'm not even involved. The term "bottom feeder" is too kind for Janna, and so is the word "cunt".

The blabbery that went on in her personal blog is nothing short of schizophrenic. There is NO DOUBT in my mind that she played all of these people, fooling you with treasures out of her own photo albums. I could go on and on. But I won't. She needs more help than a therapist can give her.

audrey said...

You definitely should not take this all lying down. You don't owe Janna even one single iota. SHE was the fraud. SHE was the liar. SHE was the demented manipulator. SHE hurt YOU.

She should thank you for being so nice about it all. Yes, NICE. Because compared to what she did to you, everything you've put out here on your blog is tame and nice -- a fuck's lot nicer than stringing along another human being and putting that human being's emotions through a blender as if they were doing no more than making a tofu smoothie.

I think you should hang her out to dry as publicly as possible -- the article, your blog, youtube. Make a movie out of it, even. Don't change her name though. Hang her out there for all the world to see her spin in the wind.

Anonymous said...

jennifer - I might look into this. The lawyer I talked to said that it would be difficult for a court to enforce things like therapist visits or internet access, so that was why I knocked it on the head and got in touch with Janna's daughter, who clearly doesn't give a shit about her. chris - absofuckinglutely. a - she may need more help than a therapist can give her, but crikey, at least it'd be a start. audrey - I'll remember your words next time I want to call Janna a cunt. I wish the movie would be up to me, at least then I know it'd be as accurate as possible. But this is Hollywood, and nothing is ever accurate here, unless maybe Soderbergh, Sayles or the Coens were in charge. Or that Clooney fella, I hear he's going places.

skooby said...

I was surprised when I saw that the reason the article was held up was because of haggling over movie rights. How do you feel about that? Wouldn't it be kind of...odd, having an experience of yours made in to a motion picture?

I'm not from the big bad world of Hollywood. I don't get it. haha.

Anonymous said...

I don't feel so hot about the prospect of a movie, for lots of reasons, but what can ya do? I'd be happier about it if they didn't change Janna's name, but I bet they would.

Sheila said...

A movie about it would be way too dog-bites-man to be of any interest, as far as I can see. As you are discovering, what you went through is far from a unique situation. They're the emotional equivalent of 419 scams--just enough people get sucked in to keep them going.

If it does make it to the screen, it'll probably be changed up beyond recognition to the point that it wouldn't even really be "your" story anymore. Think of the liberties Josh took, amplified to the Nth degree.

On the plus side, having a handy movie title shorthand for That Sort Of Headfuckery might be an effective weapon to snap potential victims out of it.

Just pray the Lifetime network doesn't pick it up. Yeesh.

Anonymous said...

Oh, sheila, you know it will be Lifetime, Tori Spelling will play me, and Victoria Principal in a fat suit will play Janna.

A handy movie title would be good, though we already have The Night Listener.

Sheila said...

Oh, sheila, you know it will be Lifetime, Tori Spelling will play me, and Victoria Principal in a fat suit will play Janna.

BWAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, you may be right.

I'm afraid I'm not that familiar with The Night Listener. I don't know if a Lifetime movie title would be that much more memorable (they all kind of seem to blur together anyway) unless it was something REALLY memorably cheesy the way "Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?" was.

Anonymous said...

Night Listener is a damned good book, but I've always been partial to Armistead Maupin. The movie oversimplifies things by compressing the timeline - I believe the book, which is based on Maupin's own experience, takes place over four years.

A free iPod to anyone who comes up with the best Lifetime title for the movie of this insane charade. Janna, May I Sleep With Llamas? might be a good one.

alan.morbo said...

How about "Her name is Legion"

Stay strong, "Audrey"! :)

Anonymous said...

In my version of weird shit after too much time with Janna, the book is called: SPATHED!

Spath is my new very favourite contraction for: sociopath.

How about: Lazurus; the bitch just won't stay dead!

How about: The Half Full Half Wit: Janna St. James!

How about: The Bitch from Batavia!

I'll keep working on it. I could really use that iPod.

Anonymous said...

So...I read this story online and I feel really bad for what happened to you. However, I was a little disappointed to see you calling the woman who did what she to you names and then speaking about what a bad mother she is.

I guess I don't see the point in taking the case to court to stand your ground for what is just and 'right' and then bashing her online. Sure, the word needs to get out and people need to know about predatory behavior, but I would think you could handle this better in public.

There was no reason to 'go public' with all this for the sake the lawsuit,,,,So what is your real motivation? I sincerely want to know.

Anonymous said...

Anon - if you'll check the dates here, you'll see that most of these blog posts predate the lawsuit. I originally started this blog to work through what she'd done to me, and a lot of that was anger. It eventually evolved into a way to warn others about what Janna had done. I thought it would deter her from doing it again, and to prompt her to come clean and admit her deception. It didn't, and she didn't. Hence, the lawsuit.

Karla said...

Wow. Just holy fucking shit WOW.

I am way late to this blog, but thank you so, so much for putting all this out there and for being honest about your own vindictiveness (which is a perfectly healthy reaction to being mentally and emotionally raped, if you ask me).

I left a therapy cult in August 2011, after a seven-year-involvement. I'm now seeing a great cult therapist who's helping me to understand how cults (and people like Janna) do what they do. These people are GOOD. They know how to hit you and move you where you live because that's ALL they do. They are not capable of caring for people, so that's where their energy goes.

People who've not gone through something like this have no business judging and really need to shut the fuck up.