An open letter to due South fans

I've tried to stay out of this, I really have, but I feel that I can't stay silent any longer. I realize that by putting this up, I am opening myself up to the same sort of vindictive viciousness (Oooh! Alliteration!) that has been leveled at others, but I felt I couldn't stand by any longer and say nothing. As Edmund Burke once said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Well, I'm not a man, and I don't pretend to be perfect, but I do strive to be good. I fail frequently, I'm human, but I try.

I'm not going to name names here, but I think most of you will know to whom I refer. If you don't, it's probably just as well and I'm happy for you. It's recently come to my attention that there is a person in this fandom (hereafter referred to as "X") who has been attacking and vilifying some good people. In fact, with her unrelenting viciousness "X" has managed to drive one of those people, a woman who has put in countless hours of personal time working on behalf of all members of the DS fan community, out of the fandom entirely.

"X" has also spent considerable time and energy in attacking another writer in the due South fandom (whom I'll refer to as "Y.") "Y" is someone I know quite well, both on the net and in 'real life.' Granted, I'm prejudiced, but in the time I have known her, I have found "Y" to be one of the most unceasingly moral people I have ever known. The idea that "Y" would go to the lengths that "X" suggests in order to discredit and attack her, is quite simply, ludicrous. Yet, due to "X's" near-obsession with her, "Y" also is being forced out of the fandom in order to have a little peace. This is, simply, wrong, and should not be happening. It frustrates and angers me that people continute to believe "X's" lies, even after she has proven time and again that she is not trustworthy.

I've known "Y" for quite some time now, and she is personally self-effacing, hates the spotlight and would like to just be left alone to write. While I interacted with "X" for a far shorter length of time, it became increasingly clear that she enjoys being the center of attention, that she is extremely provocative (and I don't mean sexually), can be malicious, and has an amazing capacity for deception, both of herself, and others. I eventually was forced to withdraw from contact with her for my own sanity. I will also admit that at first I found her to be interesting and allowed her tendencies to influence my own baser instincts. Note, I'm not trying to put the blame on her, she didn't twist my arm. I'm not proud of that. In fact, I nearly left the fandom after realizing that I had hurt people, but I hoped to be forgiven that incident if I behaved myself. Clearly "X" feels no such remorse or compunctions.

I don't advocate that extreme steps be taken against "X." That's no more right than her campaign of terror. All I can say is, please, stop giving this person the attention she so clearly craves, and do not take her at face value. She uses multiple anonymous e-mail personae to disguise her identity, and she has been known to forward altered versions of private emails in an attempt to bolster her own actions and to cast doubt on others. I have personally been the target of one such incident, and know of three others to whom she has done this. Please be careful what you say to her.

due South is, at a basic level, a show about morality. Fraser stands as example of morality in an immoral world. In my opinion, what "X" has been doing is a refutation of the basic heart and soul of due South. Don't let "X" continue to undermine the principles which drew all of us (okay, well, many of us) to the show to begin with. due South fandom is terribly fractionated already-- between the genfen and the slashfen, and that subset further fractionated into fans of the various pairings. I believe that if she does not stop, the eventual result of her actions will be to completely shatter what is left.

--Kellie Matthews

12/23/00 P.S. For those of you who still think "X" is the one being wronged here, I have just learned that "X" has contacted "Y's" employer and 'outed' her in a clear and obvious attempt to have her fired from her job. "X" apparently portrayed herself as a longstanding email friend of "Y's" who had stumbled across, in recent weeks, a very disturbing web site and mailing list that belonged to "Y." She struggled with her conscience but eventually decided that "Y's" employers had a right to know the things their employees do and included two URLs, which one assumes were for "Y's" website and the mailing list involved.

Now, not only is this hypocritical in the extreme, since "X" writes slash herself, but it's the most reprehensible and disgusting thing I've ever heard of in all my years in fandom. This woman has crossed the line, her behavior is unconscionable. In point of fact, one wonders if she's entirely sane, because what she is doing is nothing less than stalking.

Oh, and should she be tempted to contact my employers and do the same, my employers and my family already know I write fanfic & erotica of various kinds. In point of fact I was joking with my boss about it just yesterday. Needless to say it would be pretty pointless.

12/28/00 PPS: At this point, I know, this has degenerated into a nasty case of 'she said/she said.' I wouldn't believe email documentation since I know first-hand that email can be altered quite easily, therefore I must go on the only reliable indicator I have, which is my own personal experiences with both parties. When I compare the past behavior of Party X and Party Y, I know who I'm more likely to believe. Everyone else needs to draw their own conclusions, based on their own experiences. Their conclusions may indeed be different from mine, and that is to be expected since I am not Ruler of the Universe. If I were, I'd wave my magic wand and fix all this.

Please note I have never made accusations about other people peripherally associated with this incident.

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