Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lori Drew: A Woman Lacking a Conscience

As many of you know, I have been following the Megan Meier case. This is the case where Megan committed bullycide after a 16 year old boy she met on the social site My Space, , Josh Evans, who she was infatuated with suddenly turned on her stating “the world would be a better place without you in it.” The twist of all of this? Josh was not a 16 year old boy but a moniker created by a 49 year old woman by the name of Lori Drew along with her daughter, 14 year old Sarah and a colleague, 18 year old Ashley Grills. For a year, America has heard and followed this case and I have been right there along with everyone else. I have blogged and discussed this ad nauseum with friends and colleagues. I have been angry at this woman for even “going there” with this child in the first place. This whole story reeks of drama, cruelty and in the center of it sits this woman who apparently lacks a conscience of any kind. What kind of a person even considers doing this?
Well, Mrs. Drew is now in a Los Angeles Court having to own up to her dirty deeds. She was told by Grills and her hairdresser that what she was doing was wrong. Of course, Grills said it was okay because everyone did this sort of thing all the time on there. Her daughter even admitted to flirting with Megan as “Josh” on My Space. Of course Drew is now saying she never read the terms of service on My Space and her attorneys are lobbying for her case to be dismissed. Okay, I have a My Space account and to even set this up, one must accept the terms of service. You have to click on the little box like anyone else does. She had to have been aware to even open the account in the first place! Plus, she is trying to put a lot of blame on Ashley Grills. Now she is charged with a count of conspiracy and three counts of unauthorized computer access by violating the terms of service on My Space. From what I understand, Grills is the star witness yet has immunity. Why, I have no idea since she is a legal adult and had her own hand in all of this.
Folks, Lori Drew is mean, not stupid. She knew what she was doing was mean. She was well aware of Megan’s battle with clinical depression and her fragile state of mind. She was told by two other people that what she was doing was illegal. She involved her own 13 year old daughter in this mess. She is looking at five years in prison if convicted. Do you know what is so appalling? The judge has considered dismissing this case completely! Yes, you read right he is considering dismissing this case. Do you know the message that sends? That its okay to set up fake profiles online. Its okay to cyber bully young girls who deal with depression and send them over the edge. Engaging in illegal activity is okay. This is not okay and this woman does not deserve to walk. She deserves to be in prison where she belongs. Judge Wu, don’t go easy on her! Give her the book and throw away the key! For once, have a bully take some responsibility for their reprehensible actions. Show the world that yes, the justice system still works and Drew will be taking responsibility for her actions. I, for one, hope she rots.
Resource Cited:
Elizabeth Bennett is the author and consultant of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From A Psychological Perspective and resides in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit .

Anthony Biggs Jr. Victimized by a Cruel Society

I got an email from my best friend on Saturday. It was a Yahoo story about a young man who committed suicide via a webcam in front of a live, virtual audience. This took place on the site .The way I understand it, this young man was threatening to take his own life and was egged on by other viewers to do so who were watching this take place. A few tried to stop it and contacted the police in his area. However, it was too late. The young man, Abraham Briggs Jr., suffered from bi-polar disorder died from a combination of opiates and benzodiazepines he took for his illness. What sort of a world do we live in where we encourage those who are hurting and are in trouble?
You know, people out there are shocked and appalled by this. Well, I’m not one of them. I have been using the internet for almost 10 years and some of the things I have seen online have been unbelievable. People starting flame wars and trolling chat rooms and communities. There is always some sort of drama somewhere. Then there is the social site problems that are hot beds for gossip, rumors and impersonating or making up monikers to hurt and upset others. My Space and Face book are two of the leading sites for this. I see the callousness people exhibit online towards one another. They waste time and energy fighting and commenting using the most scathing and biting remarks they can find. Plus, while people get their kicks out of breaking each other, I hear the other side of it. The side where people are traumatized by these actions and events. How they are needing therapy to cope with the stress, anxiety and depression that all of this has brought on. So, when I heard of this recent act of bullycide, I was not in the least surprised. Abraham Biggs Sr. was shocked by this behavior as most are but me? No, we have become a callous lot who just do not give a darn about one another at all. Any decency that was once there has left the building.
As I have said many a time, we have to crack down on this cyber bullying problem. Another young life is lost at the hands of tormentors who had fun watching their victim die right in front of their eyes. Why do we continue to stay in the dark? Why are we enabling this? Parents, please talk to your kids and set limits with them on the use of the computer. Educate them on what is right and wrong in this world. I believe many have lost this capacity and everyday, we continue to develop behavior that grows more and more pathological. We are breeding a nation of sociopaths! Let them know that watching someone committing bullycide online is not entertainment. It’s a serious problem and instead of enabling it, teach them to report it. Shouldn’t someone out there give a darn? Is there any human decency left? It can be done if we begin to take this seriously. It only takes a voice and be that voice! My condolences go out to the Biggs family. May your son rest in peace. He was a good kid that fell victim to a cruel society. Nothing more or less.
Resource Cited:
Elizabeth Bennett is the author and consultant of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From A Psychological Perspective. She resides in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit .

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What a Way to Get Kicks!

You know, there are some days when you just try and understand why some do not see what is right in front of their faces. I know, I know….not everyone is going to instinctively get that bullying (Peer Abuse) is a serious problem and that maybe those who engage in these behaviors are “just not wired right”. Well, as an Adult Survivor of Peer Abuse who lived 27 years of this nightmare, I am here to say that yes, finally someone has done some experimentation on this. What I am referring to is a recent article published by Reuters entitled Bullies May Get a Kick Out of Seeing Others in Pain. A big part of me understands that again, not everyone is going to instinctively get this problem but a big part of me is saying “Really? No kidding!”

In this article, it states that a study was conducted at The University Of Chicago which used eight boys between the ages of 16 and 18 who have aggressive conduct disorders and eight who do not have these problems. The study consisted of watching a couple of videos where pain is being inflicted by people onto other people. A functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to track brain activity and when the video showed the pain being inflicted, those boys with the conduct problems would have a portion of the brain, the amygdala and ventral striatum light up, become active and excited. The other boys did not exhibit any of this within their brains. Of course, this was a small study and probably more needs to be discovered and tweaked before any conclusions can be drawn but so far, this has been found.

I am not really good with the biological lingo but from what I am getting, those who bully enjoy bullying others. I have always known there was a biological connection and that not all of it was environmental and psychological. Two kids can come from the same family and background and one could be a “bad seed” while others in the family do not have these problems. I am so glad that the nature aspect is finally becoming a consideration in all of this. Many criminals and prisoners thrive on violence, manipulation and game playing. It very well could be that they are suffering from the same problem? Those who kill tend to get a rush from it. Wonder if they have the same problems? I know bullies growing up would get violent and never have remorse but seem to want more and more of it. If this study goes further and they find this to be evident, then it will make more sense as to what makes a bully what he or she is. As children they hurt animals and think its funny. As adults they hurt others and enjoy it. I have never understood that but then again, I have always felt the bully was not wired right in the first place. A huge part of me is saying “What took so long?”

Resource Cited:

Elizabeth Bennett is the author of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From A Psychological Perspective and resides in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit .