Some stories are unbelievable

Unexpected

Registrant
When I stand in my professional shoes, I have seen stuff here that simply does not add up as to how the real world works. I have been chewing over whether to report such observations to the moderators. This thread is timely. So far, I have not spoken up. in part because I have had a crisis situation in my life. Maybe those of us with special knowledge and reasons to suspect a fraud should be pointing out the issues to the moderators, though I do not think they will have the professional expertise to evaluate what I would describe. Thoughts on this?
 
When I stand in my professional shoes, I have seen stuff here that simply does not add up as to how the real world works. I have been chewing over whether to report such observations to the moderators. This thread is timely. So far, I have not spoken up. in part because I have had a crisis situation in my life. Maybe those of us with special knowledge and reasons to suspect a fraud should be pointing out the issues to the moderators, though I do not think they will have the professional expertise to evaluate what I would describe. Thoughts on this?
I have several thoughts on this. First, I, too, have "seen stuff on here that simply does not add up as to how the real world works" HOWEVER, I feel that my true story - the story of the multiple trauma that I endured as a young boy can sound to others as unbelievable; so, I would be cautious - another HOWEVER I would add is this: we live in an imperfect world, despite knowing that, when I first joined this site, I expected to find a community of sympathetic men who supported each other... and there are such men on this site; but there is another HOWEVER, when I was very new and very emotionally vulnerable and fragile, I posted an honest, gut wrenching post about my abuse and it's impact upon me and my perception of my own sexuality - it was and is true, but i was viciously attacked and recieved a perfunctiory "apology" from one of the men on here who is a moderator... so I do not have a lot of trust in the moderator teams... i guess it all depends on who the responding moderator is, because I have also recieved profoundly consoliing, validating support from at least one other moderator. Yes, this is supposed to be a support forum, but I have not found it to be safe, when you spill your guts and are then attacked for speaking your truth. But, having said all that, if you feel reporting such posts could be helpful, go ahead... but if you feel that way it is likely others do too, and the way I take it is "with a grain of salt" and I simply do not respond, and just move on unless the content could in some way harm someone. But some of the attacks I have experienced here have been for disagreeing with someone else's perspective simply because I have a different perspective... what makes those others feel they have the right to impose their beliefs upon others?... and to use the hammer that science supports them... even when my own life experience is contrary to their "science". Those are my initial thoughts. Be careful, unless the person is claiming an alien abduction, we truly do not know their story - and it is also possible the person posting whatever it is you disblieve has a mental illness which developed as a response to the trauma... and perhapss they have constructed a false narrative which, in some way helps them cope, and, as such, it might just be best to leave it alone...
 

Sherlock

Registrant
Honestly, they are. They are unbelievable. The stories I have read here are so extremely painful to read, so unreal that yes it feels like they are almost unbelievable. The sad part is, is that YES this shit DOES happen. It happens everyday, and the small percentage of people who have made it to this site to tell their story are just one of the very few that this happens to in real life. It is unbelievable that something so evil could happen, but it does and it has.
 
When I stand in my professional shoes, I have seen stuff here that simply does not add up as to how the real world works. I have been chewing over whether to report such observations to the moderators. This thread is timely. So far, I have not spoken up. in part because I have had a crisis situation in my life. Maybe those of us with special knowledge and reasons to suspect a fraud should be pointing out the issues to the moderators, though I do not think they will have the professional expertise to evaluate what I would describe. Thoughts on this?
Yes, I think it best you leave this matter for men here who are survivors. Your professional acumen contributes nothing to this topic which is rooted deeply in the trauma that brought us here. The men concerned about the veracity of folks posting here are entitled to their opinions but as so many men here have said... standing in judgment is not conducive to sharing vulnerable feelings. This conversation is divisive and not helpful in any way to survivors here to do their healing work.
 

jacats

Registrant
I understand the worry and even anger at someone suggesting that people are making up shit... But I have been around a few years and I could make a list of people who have been caught and banned for making shit up and taking advantage of people here. Saying that don't happen is either being naive or outright lying, because most people here have seen it a few times over.
That don't mean people wont be believed, mostly everyone is, and mostly everyone is sharing truth, but if something seems fishy to someone, they do got good reason to consider calling bullshit. So what to do? Ignore it, report it. One of those things, whichever you like. I'm an ignorer 9 times out of 10 lol.
I agree with the OP that its an issue when someone gets fully invested in a made up drama to the point that it takes up they time and hurts they mental health. And that's happened many times in my short time here.
Being doubtful and questioning stories could be hurtful to the community but believing everything without using common sense has proved hurtful time and time again to people here. How do people feel when the person they spent hours counselling and bonding with is banned for being bullshit. Unfortunately you could ask a few guys here how that feels.
Trust and be kind yes, but protect yourself too. Its the internet.
 

HenryD

Registrant
I will not challenge anyone's claim of abuse; neither will I automatically believe every one. There has recently been one such story that is hard to believe. So I'll wait quietly as the moderators do their work.

Truth is important.
 
if someone has been around for SEVERAL months/years, especially those with multiple original posts (not just replies), that is a good indication that they could be trusted (as if there was any falsehoods, they would have been banned). That does NOT mean that newbies cannot be trusted, but if it is a newbie (or ANY person, really) and something seems suspicious, please report it to the mods. Also, if you are NOT able to PM them ("Start a Conversation"), then they may ALREADY be banned!
 
Since when did MS become judge, jury, and executioner?!?

Yes, I will admit, there has been some things amiss from others.
And you know what?
They aren't here anymore, because the Admins took care of it.

I'm not stupid or dumb, I just try to give every one the same chances, the benefit of doubt.

Plus I know how evil and F'ed up this world can be, and even for the 'hard to believe' stuff, it's hard to believe or even fathom some times, because it wasn't YOUR life experiences.

Parents can be cruel to their children.
Family can treat you like nothing...make you FEEL like nothing
People you trusted, can take advantage of those situations, for their own gains...
People are sick, disgusting, vile, and there is a whole level of evil out there that a lot of us have experienced, at the hands of others.
And to this day, WE are the ones that have to pay for the sins of others!!!
I listen to a podcast on my way to work sometimes, that reminds me, how horrible human beings can be to each other.

So to come here, even with a statement as generalized as what has been stated in this thread.
I can't be the only one feeling like, I'm being attacked in some manner, even though I know I'm not, but my mind doesn't work like that...it goes to worst case scenario, every.single.time. Because I've been taught...convinced...that my worth means nothing to others. And the mind can mess with you ...a lot...when you believe shit like that....

I apologize for my rant or ramblings....
I'm just not in the greatest headspace right now..
Maybe I'm being oversensitive to this....
*shrugs*
....
 

MO-Survivor

Registrant
This thread makes me think of a historical figure. To avoid offending anyone's sensibilities, I won't mention his name. But he was seen as a teacher, a leader, a healer. And there were many, many people who wanted him to take sides on political issues, to make judgements about current laws, and even to rise to power politically. And yet, he refused all such requests because he knew his mission. And his mission was to love people and to fulfill his purpose in life. He never engaged in what people wanted, unless it was an attempt to address someone 1:1 about issues of the heart.

People get passionate about many things. And there is always a tendency to want others to join us, to affirm how we feel, to rally behind us and even to make some noise. But organizations cannot join in everyone's individual passions. It doesn't mean your passion isn't valid. In this thread there are those who are passionate about the truth, and wanting to protect the rest of us from charlatans. That is a commendable passion. And as NC has said - there is a means for doing that. Others are walking a path of healing and don't want the distraction of trying to judge every story they read. They are not wrong for not wanting to take up the mission of ferreting out fakers. Guys - you are all "right." But you have to see the validity in others' passions, and not take things personally.

So... those of you who feel strongly about fake stories, you don't have to stop. But use the mechanisms in place to report your thoughts, and move on. Let the Mods address this. And if they deem someone to be legit that you think isn't - your choice whether to let that move on from here or stay to help others and yourself. And those who are offended by those who have this passion - ignore and continue your path of healing, please.
 
...Being doubtful and questioning stories could be hurtful to the community but believing everything without using common sense has proved hurtful time and time again to people here. How do people feel when the person they spent hours counselling and bonding with is banned for being bullshit. Unfortunately you could ask a few guys here how that feels.
Trust and be kind yes, but protect yourself too. Its the internet.
One of the folks banned from the site in my first year here was a person with whom I had wonderful exchanges. I was shocked when he disappeared and saddened he and I wouldn't be chatting again. I know there were people who felt threatened because he held some strong opinions and as he put it "didn't suffer fools gladly." Did I feel threatened by this man? Hardly... I'm not seven years old any longer. Did his story all hang together? It seemed a bit much but did it matter to me? Not really. And I don't see myself as a counselor so I didn't feel at a loss when he disappeared apart from missing a fellow I enjoyed chatting with.

Participating on Male Survivor ultimately isn't about doubting or believing someone's story. It is about maintaining a safe space for frightened men to step through their shame to reach out for support. Cirillo is telling us that THIS conversation makes this place less safe. Is he encountering someone willing to listen or is he encountering a sceptic measuring every word to make certain there is no deception here? As he and others have said, the stories told here are often mind-boggling, and that is because trauma can be extreme. I hadn't thought that fathers would have children simply because they wanted a son to molest and traffic before I came here. I hadn't thought that grandmothers would pimp their grandsons. I hadn't thought that boys were sold to predators and used for producing pornography that resulted in the death of another child. Who among us is so wise that they can discern what is real and what is fantasy?

I have reached out to moderators when something felt off. Remarkably, in one case I completely misread what seemed like evidence of deception and developed an amazing relationship with a young man who eventually left. I know I'm not smart enough to discern deception. Be generous everyone. The men who come here need our support. Trauma ruins lives and this is a special place. Playing police officer ultimately won't help anyone feel safer here but it may scare innocents who need our support.
 
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AlexBoyd

Registrant
For most of us here trust is a major challenge. I have noticed that this discussion has focused on the importance of trusting others as a foundation for this community, but one of the most complicated aspects of trust is learning to trust oneself. Surely it is or has been a stumbling block for many of us because in our backgrounds so many of us were deceived and, as a result, we found ourselves questioning our abilities to judge a situation and protect ourselves. A discussion like the one is this thread is not only not divisive, it is essential for creating a community that is based on openness and honesty. The reality is that some people are feeling uncomfortable about certain kinds of behavior at this site and they are expressing it. This thread has made it clear that everyone here judges others. That makes us human. Some of us have expressed doubt, and some of us have been accusatory, but we have all judged others in this thread. That is not inherently a bad thing.

Trusting oneself is empowering. If something does not compute, trust your common sense. If something simply feels off, trust your gut. Do not be shamed into silence because you have questioned a romanticized narrative that everyone is here to contribute to a common good. There are people in this world--and, unfortunately, we know this all too well--who take advantage of others. Some of them are attracted to this place precisely because they know that we, as a group, struggle with issues of trust.

Personally, I do not find myself questioning the truth of abuse stories that are shared here, mainly because the truthfulness of those past events has little impact on my and/or our community's mental well being. However, the "unbelievable" factor (mentioned by OP) surfaces when certain registrants share current life events and new developments, particularly when ongoing new developments are constant and calculated to extract sympathy and empathy. When someone is fabricating or exaggerating and actively seeking to involve members in fictionalized drama, it is distraction for our whole community, as well as a mockery of this place.

We don't take candy from strangers in real life. There's no obligation to do it here. Trust is earned. It's not something that automatically comes with a new profile.
 
Surely it is or has been a stumbling block for many of us because in our backgrounds so many of us were deceived and, as a result, we found ourselves questioning our abilities to judge a situation and protect ourselves.
Also, for those of us with repressed memories, we also question ourselves as to the validity of those uncovered memories. We often contsantly question ourselves and our sanity to know for sure whether or not these facts are true. It often requires a trained professional to help us see the truthfulness in our memories.
 

flying

Registrant
I agree that some stories seem unbelievable. I'm not too bothered by that. My issue is that I don't feel super safe here, mainly because I don't really know anybody. I am suspicious of some people, but that could be a reaction to csa. I have met nice people here, and there are very thoughtful responses and posts. Other than my therapist, I have nowhere else to share this stuff. It's hard to share and be vulnerable. I try not to judge people, but I feel very cautious when it comes to truly trusting someone. I think that is healthy. I appreciate the stories that are shared, and I share mine too. But it's still hard to feel safe and secure. Maybe if I knew people in real life instead of on an anonymous website it would be different. But like I said, I have no one else to share this with.

Thanks to the guys who share and care about others.
 
, I have nowhere else to share this stuff. It's hard to share and be vulnerable. I try not to judge people, but I feel very cautious when it comes to truly trusting someone.
Many of us struggle with Hypervigilance which is an internal response to the previous trauma to try to keep us safe. Anonymity is also a method to add a layer of safety, giving us freedom to share openly.
 
Clearly we have an elephant in the middle of the room and everyone is grabbing the part that is closest to them and is confident they know what is in front of them. Yes, we all come with fear and we all judge people around us. It is incumbent on each of us to discern whether a place or person feels safe to us and to protect ourselves as we need to do. No, taking candy from strangers is not a smart thing to be doing. My discomfort with this conversation is that it is so easy for someone who is confused by their own story and frightened to be sharing anything with a group of strangers to conclude the "unbelievable" stories we must defend ourselves against refers to what they're sharing.

Of course there are bad actors here and it is important if they act out and put members at risk that they be removed from the community. There is a report button at the bottom of every post to alert moderators if something is amiss. And I take seriously the counsel given by administrators of this site to not engage with members we meet here away from this website unless we have great confidence in the person being who they say they are. I feel able to make that assessment. I've exchanged personal contact information with a few men here, men who've been around for a long time who make a positive contribution to the website. I've met them virtually and greatly appreciated the contact. I'm disappointed I wasn't able to attend a Weekend of Recovery when they were last being held in person, but I expect that will happen. I want to meet men who are healing.

Obviously this conversation needed to happen because it did. I hope we haven't frightened too many newcomers in suggesting talking about this will make ANY difference in how this website operates. I encourage people who encounter registrants and conversations that seem too unbelievable to LEAVE THEM ALONE. I do that all the time. The sky isn't falling folks. Important work is happening here. Saying the sky is falling really isn't helping anyone, not even those who keep saying it is.
 
frightened to be sharing anything with a group of strangers to conclude the "unbelievable" stories we must defend ourselves against refers to what they're sharing
That came to mind about my OWN stories that I have shared, which could easily be viewed as "unbelievable."
 
I know Kal. The only level one event that makes sense to me is in June at Whidby Island near Seattle. It is feeling more doable having completed my vaccination process but it still emotionally feels like a stretch. I wonder if Gistin would think about coming down for it? I also have a friend in Portland who might want to do it. Driving in from Portland on the first day would make it all both easier and less expensive... mmm. The advanced meeting at Silver Bay looks amazing as well. One of these days we'll meet in person Kal.
 

Fitz

Registrant
For most of us here trust is a major challenge. I have noticed that this discussion has focused on the importance of trusting others as a foundation for this community, but one of the most complicated aspects of trust is learning to trust oneself. Surely it is or has been a stumbling block for many of us because in our backgrounds so many of us were deceived and, as a result, we found ourselves questioning our abilities to judge a situation and protect ourselves. A discussion like the one is this thread is not only not divisive, it is essential for creating a community that is based on openness and honesty. The reality is that some people are feeling uncomfortable about certain kinds of behavior at this site and they are expressing it. This thread has made it clear that everyone here judges others. That makes us human. Some of us have expressed doubt, and some of us have been accusatory, but we have all judged others in this thread. That is not inherently a bad thing.

Trusting oneself is empowering. If something does not compute, trust your common sense. If something simply feels off, trust your gut. Do not be shamed into silence because you have questioned a romanticized narrative that everyone is here to contribute to a common good. There are people in this world--and, unfortunately, we know this all too well--who take advantage of others. Some of them are attracted to this place precisely because they know that we, as a group, struggle with issues of trust.

Personally, I do not find myself questioning the truth of abuse stories that are shared here, mainly because the truthfulness of those past events has little impact on my and/or our community's mental well being. However, the "unbelievable" factor (mentioned by OP) surfaces when certain registrants share current life events and new developments, particularly when ongoing new developments are constant and calculated to extract sympathy and empathy. When someone is fabricating or exaggerating and actively seeking to involve members in fictionalized drama, it is distraction for our whole community, as well as a mockery of this place.

We don't take candy from strangers in real life. There's no obligation to do it here. Trust is earned. It's not something that automatically comes with a new profile.
Very well said, Alex! I agree wholeheartedly.

I joined MS in the fall of 2019. Since the I've seen numerous users removed for various reasons. Several of the things you mentioned (ongoing new developments etc.) characterized the interactions with some who were later banned after it was revealed they were false profiles. In hindsight, it's amazing I didn't catch on sooner. The disruption and distraction that caused here was very disturbing. I particularly like your last paragraph.
 
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