If you have ever been a victim of Internet Defamation you will know how I felt since 2002.
In 2000 when my daughter was abused in a therapeutic boarding program (Carolina Springs Academy - WWASPS) - I posted our true story online and within months were slapped with a Defamation Lawsuit by the very same organization that hurt my little girl!
They sued me in an attempt to silence me - and would have gladly dropped the lawsuit if I would remove my website. I fought back - after 2+ years of litigation - over $1 Million dollars in legal fees (which was covered by my insurance) - I won in a jury trial! Yes, I won!
Of course, WWASPS appealed - and I won again in the Supreme Court of Appeals!Now, when you have exhausted your legal avenues to harass someone - it seems the Internet can be used as a weapon, and trust me, it is a powerful weapon.
Suddenly on certain extremist forums, ugly and slanderous lies were being posted about myself, my organization and my children! Although some of these posters were former institutionalized victims, it didn't excuse their blatant lies and false accusations. It is my belief it stemmed from a WWASPS camp.
It was soon realized that a woman, who originally despised WWASPS for the alleged abuse her boys endured at one of their programs - she had no problem accepting $12,500.00 from them! Why? In hopes of incriminating me!I sued her in an attempt to get her to stop.
I sued for defamation and invasion of privacy - and guess who got her a lawyer in Florida? WWASPS! Yes, the very people she accused of harming her kids as well as accepting the $12,500.00.So now we have come full circle - and I am fighting WWASPS indirectly in my opinion - and for another 2 years of litigation - we go to trial again - and this time, I not only win - I set legal precedence for Internet Defamation! The jury - after hours of deliberation, render a verdict of $11.3M - $5M of it is punitive damages - meant to punish. After the trial, they waited for me in the hall and said they wanted to send a message that ruining lives on the Internet has a price.
Carey Bock Levine, the defendant that defamed me, authored many posts claiming I was a fraud, con, crook and more. This instigated more vicious posts stating I abuse kids, kidnap kids and went as far to say refer to abusive programs! After what my daughter went through, this is nothing short of Internet Defamation with intent to destroy, ruin and hurt others. Thankfully - the truth prevailed!
O-kay - so I won 2 trials - emotionally was exhausted from 5 years of litigation and still had to deal with all the ugly posts on the Internet. They just don't go away - they remain in cached files and are always popping up.
A very good friend of mine told me about Reputation Defender. At first, I was skeptical and didn't think it could work. I emailed them - told them my story.The CEO, Michael Fertik called me personally within a weeks time and told me that they did some research on the damage and was appalled what these people had done to me. I proved my case to Michael Fertik - my organization (PURE) has helped literally thousands of families - and we have proudly been a Member of the Better Business Bureau for years.
Could he help me? He said he could, but it would take time - well, I had time, since I had no choice, I needed my online reputation cleaned up to match my true reputation. I worked long and hard to bring my organization to the level of respect we get from many professionals.
Reputation Defender got to work - and within 4 months, with the help of MyEdge, my online life was finally matching up with reality!I proudly admit I hired Reputation Defender and MyEdge - it was not to hide the ugliness but to let people know the real me and the truth about me!
Thank you Michael Fertik and the entire team of Reputation Defender and MyEdge for bringing the truth to the top!