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And you thought that Charitygate was bad... - Where you from, Kansas?

Nov. 6th, 2007

12:09 pm - And you thought that Charitygate was bad...

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Via Sadly, No! I learned of this story that makes the harassment of Christina Hall by Heidi8, MsScribe and assorted minions look like a Unitarian Church potluck: In 2005, Democratic Underground member Andy Stephenson was ill with pancreatic cancer, and uninsured. So his friends organized an effort to pay for his treatment with, as I've once heard it described, "acts of paypal"*, and well...

What followed was a coordinated effort to block Andy’s medical care or his benefit from the medical care we could secure for him. In specific, the Bush right had its agents make small donations so they could then call Paypal with allegations of fraud that froze Andy’s account. They also called Paypal, misrepresenting themselves as the hospital to “verify” that this effort was a scam.

And it got more vicious from there. Due to the frozen funds and the confusion it caused us all, Andy’s surgery date was canceled by Johns Hopkins. It was with great difficulty that we were able to persuade the doctor to be put Andy back into the surgical rotation. That cost him two weeks while he suffered from the most aggressive, invasive form of cancer.

The whole post at Democratic Underground can be read here.

There's also a concise write-up of the story in this Seattle Weekly article.

This is coming to light now because one of the former ringleaders of this campaign, "PJ Comix", is now trying very hard to get fellow bloggers to vote for his site as "funniest" in an online contest, and these efforts got the attention of Sadly, No.

Well, the resulting mockery couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. I had thought the evilness of Charitygate was unusual, but no one attempted (that I know of) to actually interfere with Christina's treatment for cancer. Here, the actions of the online mob not only caused mental anguish, but probably hastened someone's death.

If you're also hearing echos of the recent Graeme Frost affair, y'aint the only one.

*H/T to Allyson B, aka paperdol.